Shaquem Griffin Announces Retirement From The NFL After An Improbable Career

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Seth Roy Contributor
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Professional football star Shaquem Griffin announced Wednesday that he is retiring from the National Football League. 

In an article written by Griffin for The Players’ Tribune he said, “after everything I’ve been through in my life — all the hard work, all the doubters — it’s almost unthinkable that I’m hangin’ it up and moving on from the game of football.” 

In the article, he thanked his brother and teammate, Shaquill, for being supportive of him throughout his life. “You’ve had my back since Day One, bro. You never let anybody mess with me when we were kids,” he said. “I’m still with you, living through you every time you take the field.”

Griffin ended his farewell saying, “I’m gonna go build something new so I can do what Dad always told us to do: leave the world a better place than when we found it.”

Griffin says that he will join the NFL Legends Community in life after football. The program mentors current and retired NFL players on mental health issues and helps them better transition into and out of the league, according to the article. He writes, “It’s a resource to provide guidance and support players in whatever they might be going through or trying to achieve, including assisting with community service initiatives.”

Griffin’s football career was remarkable as he played without a left hand. When Griffin’s mother Tangie was pregnant with him, an ultrasound showed that a fibrous strand of amniotic membrane wrapped around Shaquem’s left wrist causing developmental problems and intense pain, according to Sports Illustrated. At the age of four, Griffin’s mother decided to pursue an operation to remove his hand to relieve the pain.

Against all odds, Griffin went on to play at the University of Central Florida as a linebacker. In his junior year he was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In his senior season, he was named the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Defensive MVP after making 12 tackles in a 34-27 win over Auburn in January of 2018, according to ESPN. (RELATED: Video Shows Fan Being Thrown Over Three Rows Of Bleachers During A Fight At Wrigley Field)

In 2018, Griffin was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the 141st overall pick in the NFL Draft, according to Pro Football Reference. This paired him with his brother Shaquill, who was drafted by Seattle the year prior.