Anquan Boldin, who spent less than two weeks as a member of the Bills in August before stepping away from the game in the name of activism, wrote a column for Time magazine explaining his decision to retire.
The potential future Hall of Fame wideout mentioned his trip to Washington a year ago to talk to legislators about what Boldin said was "how we could use our platforms as athletes to bring attention to our broken justice system."
In Boldin's piece, he discusses a specific issue that's captured his attention, America's cash bail system.
My life’s purpose became bigger than football in August, when I decided to walk away from the game I love — a game to which I have dedicated nearly my entire life — in order to become a champion for criminal justice reform and both racial and social equality.
Boldin also shared his view on the national anthem protests that have seen players around the league take a knee and drawn the ire of President Trump.
The Anthem demonstrations reflect the players' frustration with this lack of change that results from legislative inaction. These protesting players are using their platforms to make sure these issues are heard by the public, who have the power to push for change, and by officials, who have the power to make it. One of the many things that makes our country great is that it was founded on the idea of “justice for all.” We feel that it’s our responsibility to take a stand (or, in some cases, a knee) for the injustices that we see happening in America right now.
After spelling out his concerns with that, Boldin voiced some optimism about his meeting with the NFL commissioner:
But I am encouraged by the meetings the NFL owners recently held with players, and I am thankful that Commissioner Roger Goodell brought these parties together. The concerns that many players have been expressing about racial inequality in our justice system and society were finally heard. I consider it an example we can all use as we seek justice. ...
I will keep using my platform to continue to shine a light on these issues and promote meaningful change. That is why I retired: to make these issues a priority. Social justice is not just a player issue. It’s not an owner or league issue. It’s an American issue, and we need to come together to make meaningful and lasting change.
Story topics: Anquan Boldin