The NFL’s “real inspiration,” veteran Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, said he is retiring from the league on Wednesday 25th August 2020.
Griffin is notably remembered as a player who lost his left hand just at age of four as a result of a congenital ailment and later rose through the ranks to become the first one-handed player in NFL history. He was an inspiration to many and a good example of fighting despite the odds life hands you.
Griffin announced this in a message posted to The Players’ Tribune. “It still seems a bit unbelievable, to be honest.
It’s almost unfathomable that, after everything I’ve gone through, after all the hard work and all the naysayers, I’m hanging it up and moving on from football”, Griffin said.
The Rise of Griffin
The league initially took notice of Griffin when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, which was the fastest time for any linebacker at the event.
The Seattle Seahawks took the University of Central Florida to commit in the fifth round a year after selecting his brother Shaquill in the third round. After three years and 46 games in the NFL, free agent Griffin was released by the Miami Dolphins.
He went through multiple futile tryouts before telling his agent he was not interested in playing in the NFL unless he could join his brother on the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Quite a few individuals won’t like that strategy, I know. So many men are out there putting up long hours and making sacrifices in the hopes of landing some kind of break, and I’m holding them back. In other words, I completely understand. But there’s something you have to know about me,” says Griffin.
So, What’s Next for Griffin?
The free agent, who is 27 years old, has said that he is ending his playing career but staying in the league. In fact, he has joined the NFL Legends Community, a league-run initiative where former players assist current and past players adjust to life after football.
Griffin described it as a place where athletes may get advice and assistance in anything they could be going through or attempting to accomplish, including help with community service projects.
“It’s go time for my backup plan. I am aware of the good I am doing for other people. I give talks on believing in oneself and following your passion wherever I go, from high schools and universities to football clubs and businesses around the country.
Many in the business world are eager to hear my insights, but I have much more to learn from them,” he said.
Many well-known names in football history paid tribute to Griffin. In a tweet, the Seattle Seahawks called Griffin: “A genuine motivation for his teammates” while his brother Shaquill proclaimed him a “true legend” online.
And the NFL said, “Shaquem Griffin proved at the 2018 NFL Combine that there are no limits to human potential. Definitely, someone to look up to. Best wishes for your retirement.”
Photo by “Seattle Seahawk signatures” by samantha.levang is licensed under CC BY 2.0