Professional athletes announcing their retirement over social media is nothing new. We’ve seen it countless times from Kobe Bryant’s Players’ Tribune poem, Marshawn Lynch’s cleats on a wire and even Jared Allen riding off into the “sunset.”
But in the background of Thursday night’s mayhem surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers attempted trade of Antonio Brown to the Buffalo Bills, a bizarre and unexpected retirement created a buzz on social media.
David Irving, a 25-year-old Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman, announced his retirement from the NFL in an Instagram Live Story while verbally trashing the league and smoking marijuana.
In an NSFW rant, Irving told the world “Basically, I quit.” adding that he loves football but, “I don’t love the NFL.”
Irving was handed an indefinite suspension from the NFL March 1 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The Cowboys expressed they would not be resigning him once his contract expired this offseason.
“Hell, I have concussions every day,” Irving added. “I get to see around the office how that f-ks your head up and I feel it.”
Irving entered the NFL in 2015 as an undrafted free agent to the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad. The Iowa State product was quickly signed by the Cowboys, When Irving wasn’t hampered by injuries or facing suspensions Irving was rather productive on the field racking up 12.5 sacks in 37 games over his four-year career.
It’ll be interesting to see if the AAF or XFL will be available to Irving in the future, although it appears those leagues would have to be willing to look past his recreational habits to employ his services.
The evolution of social media gives players the outlet to voice their unfiltered thoughts and opinions on league and political matters. Irving’s video isn’t the first example of this and certainly won’t be the last. However, if it will ever spark any concrete change between leagues and players’ associations is a wait-and-see subject.