Friday 21 October 2016

Maybe life as a millionaire sports star isn't so great after all

Donny Mahoney

Published 12/03/2014 | 02:30

Rashard Mendenhall
Rashard Mendenhall

The life of a professional sportsman includes many of the aspects I would find ideal in a job – global travel, long holidays, decent pay, lots of time spent outdoors, access to music and/or film producers – so I always heed the words of those who walk away from sport entirely at an early age.

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Rashard Mendenhall is an American football player who will be known to most who indulge in Fantasy NFL.

He is better known as a running back who walked away from his sport at 26, not because of injury, but because he got sick of the sport and his place within its culture.

In a thoughtful piece on the 'Huffington Post', Mendenhall said he was retiring young as he was no longer willing to endanger his own physical well-being "for the sake of entertainment".

He decried the rise of sport as a business, the annoyance of Twitter trolls, the lack of proper in-game analysis by pundits and fans' obsession with fantasy sports. Essentially, the career he signed up for had lost its appeal.

Perhaps the options are more stark for American football players, who take a punt with their livelihood every time they take a snap, but Mendenhall's problems with his profession are cultural. Maybe the life of a millionaire globetrotting athlete isn't that great after all.

Irish Independent

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