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30-Year-Old NFL Player Cites Concussion Concerns In Retirement Note

Husain Abdullah's words come just two weeks after the NFL admitted a link between head trauma and CTE.

Citing his desire to have “a sound mind” in the years to come, NFL safety Husain Abdullah, 30, has decided to call it quits on his football career, revealing and explaining his choice on Instagram Monday morning.

“There are numerous deciding factors in my decision, with personal health being foremost,” Abdullah wrote. “Sitting for five weeks last year after suffering the fifth concussion of my career, I had a lot to contemplate. My goals moving forward are to be of benefit to my family, my community, my country and hopefully the world. Having a sound mind will be vital in accomplishing these goals.” 

With this retirement rationale, seven-year vet Abdullah adds his voice to an increasingly loud chorus of players, past and present, who have expressed everything from trepidation to terror in the face of the troubling research on the health consequences of head trauma. Fearful of such long-term brain damage, a handful of lauded rookies and other still-green players have retired in recent months even before their careers could truly get going -- a fact that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has tried to shrug off. Moreover, just two weeks ago and for the first time ever, an NFL official admitted that there was some link between football-related head trauma and degenerative brain diseases -- before the league hastily tried to contextualize the comments the next day.

Abdullah certainly isn’t the first player to nod toward health as he steps away from the game, and he surely won’t be the last. What remains less clear, however, is what the NFL will be willing to do to make the game safer for those who decide to continue to take the risk, suiting up game after game, Sunday after Sunday, always bracing themselves for a hit to the head.

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