Athletes have their own choices when it comes to retirement. Most of them quit when they reach "midlife," but for someone like Luke Kuechly, he wants to stop at a very young age.
Carolina Panthers' linebacker Luke Kuechly added his name to the long list of those NFL players who call it quits at the age of 30 or younger.
On Tuesday, he posted a video of him fighting back his tears on social media as he announced his decision to retire from NFL now that he is 28 years old.
“In my heart, I know it’s the right thing to do.” pic.twitter.com/mSDyJ0iEMw — Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 15, 2020
Why Retiring Is The Best Thing for Kuechly
In the video he shared online, he said that he knew that he needed to "play fast, play physical, and play strong" if he wanted to be a football player.
"And at this point, I don't know if I am able to do that anymore. That's the part that is the most difficult," the 28-year-old linebacker said as he appeared to be getting emotional and vulnerable.
Luke also told his fans that he still wanted to continue his career, but he can no longer play at the level needed. With that said, he realized that right time to walk away from the game is "now."
In his eight-year career, the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year missed seven games due to different injuries from 2015 to 2017. During those games, he wore his "Q Collar" which he claimed to have helped him reduce the risk of concussions.
In his announcement, Kuechly expressed how sad he is about his retirement, noting how much he loves playing the game and how he dreamed of going to the pros ever since he was a kid. However, he admits that the time is right for him to hang his jersey for good.
"I think now is the right chance for me to move on," Kuechly said in the video. "It makes me sad because I love playing this game -- I've played it since I was a kid."
Meanwhile, Panthers owner David Tepper sent a heartwarming statement on Kuechly's sudden and surprising retirement.
"While I wish we could have him for many more years, he has done everything the right way and we respect the decision that he's made,'' Tepper said. "Luke is a once-in-a-generation player and someone we want every member of this organization to emulate.''
Even Greg Olsen, his teammate, sent his wishes for the now-ex-NFL player.
Words can’t describe who Luke Kuechly is as a person, friend, and teammate. We have shared countless memories together both on the field and away from it. I feel honored to be his friend and I’ll always appreciate the impact he has had on my life. Love you buddy pic.twitter.com/0DHYkOwDp1 — Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) January 15, 2020