RENT, Washington – Seattle Seahawks former recipient Doug Baldwin said he found the first few months of his post-NFL career challenging but he has no second concerns about the decision he has made to get away from football and does not think he will ever get the urge to return.
The process of reaching that decision, according to Baldwin, began long before he suffered a series of injuries in his final season.
"It was a process that lasted longer than last year," Baldwin told ESPN.com on Monday. "I think when you come to the NFL or an entertainment business as a youngster, you have to be selfish, you have to be egocentric, because this arena is about self-preservation, I do not say that this is English: emagazine.credit I think many of us are struggling with the concept of having a God complex because they think that we are invincible and in some ways immortal, and if you are. English: emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 1
For Baldwin, the challenge is not to miss the sport he has played most of his life.
It's more true that my identity has been entangled in football since I was 6 years old. "When I navigate without having that, without the immediate feedback and the false affirmation of what my value was in the world, because I've had touchdowns on some days, I navigate that as a human on a very human level , This process was a challenge, to say the least, but it was also rewarding because I could refocus my passions, but also understand who I am in the larger scheme of things and how I fit into the world. "
" Baldwin said he stands on a lawn near a primary school in Renton, Washington, where he works with local officials to build a $ 15 million community / health center for underprivileged youth, Baldwin said Hope is to break ground in February, after $ 10.5 million has already been raised, including $ 1 million on their own and a $ 70,000 donation from the Seahawks, which is just one Short trip away from the team's headquarters.
Baldwin missed three games in 2018 and was physically impaired for most of the season, injuring his knees, shoulder, elbows and groin, leading to three operations after the season, Baldwin said He still has trouble recovering, although "it's coming." He admitted that he probably should not have played as much as 2018, and realized he was after Injuries that would put him out for months returned within a few weeks.
Baldwin, who recently became a father for the first time, affirmed the question of whether he was frightened during the past season of thinking about how these injuries would affect him later in life. He felt connected to Andrew Luck, his former Stanford teammate and close friend, in this regard.
"It's pretty frustrating to see a comment in which Andrew retired," Baldwin said. "… It's a point in life that I think everyone can reach, whether you're in sports, in entertainment, at a desk job or in a factory, you come to a point where you have to make a decision, Best for you Long term life, and difficult as it is for people who have been in an area that has put them on a pedestal, that false affirmation, that false affirmation that you are a better person than other people because you have touchdowns or because when you throw touchdowns, it's hard to get you out of it.
"… The perspective is, I have to do the best for my wife and future children, and that comes first. And when you are faced with the choices, "Well, if I keep doing this, how will my health be when my child is born? If my children are old enough to walk around and play, can I enjoy that experience and have the experience that I imagine in my head? Will I be able to do that? & # 39; So you come to the proverbial fork, as Andrew said, and you have to make a decision. The decision to play football in the first place and do everything possible to reach those goals and earn money and all the things was a bit selfish. It's the same on this page. It just looks different. It's about self-preservation. While I was trying to articulate it, it was a challenge, but I think the most important aspect is that I can look back when I'm 60 years old, I can look back and say that I've done everything I could to make sure I could pick up my kids when they were born, that I could run around with them when they were kids, and be cognitively there for them when they were older and their dad needed not just a dad but their boyfriend while they were through navigate the world. These things were vital to me, and these things now take precedence over everything else.
Baldwin had another two years and $ 21 million in his contract when the Seahawks resigned him in May with a failed / physical term.
] He still has to submit documents to the league that would make his retirement official but this is not an indication that he keeps the door open for a possible return, he made it clear when asked if he wanted to play again, Baldwin, who often pauses to think about his answers before he does verbalized, did not wait for the end of the question.
"No," he said, "I'm done with football."