A week after the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted to a link between football and the degenerative brain condition CTE, the Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah has announced his retirement at the age of 30, citing concerns over concussion.
“There are numerous deciding factors in my decision, with personal health being foremost,” wrote Abdullah in a post on Instagram. “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. Thank you to everyone I’ve crossed paths with during my time as a player. You’ve had an impact on my life for the better. Thanks for the love and support. It’s greatly appreciated.”
Abdullah joined the Chiefs as a free agent in 2013. He had previously played for the Minnesota Vikings after finding himself undrafted out of college. He is also an practicing Muslim and took the 2012 season off to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
A number of high-profile stars have retired in their prime this off-season, including Calvin Johnson and Marshawn Lynch, although neither of those players cited any concerns over their health. In 2015, the San Francisco linebacker Chris Borland quit the NFL at the age of 24 due to concerns about head trauma. He has since described football as “inherently dangerous”.