When former NFL wide receiver Antwaan Randle El said he has some health problems and now regrets playing football, it became a major media story. But Randle El is now going on a media tour to say that story was overblown.
After that story came out, Randle El appeared on The Dan Patrick Show to say he’s healthy and happy in retirement. Although he had mentioned that he is sometimes forgetful, he said that could just as easily be because he lives a busy life as because he suffered concussions playing football.
“I want people to realize, I’m in no way dying, keeling over, struggling to get around, anything like that,” Randle El said. “The memory thing, it could be that I’ve got six kids, I’ve got a lot going on.”
On ESPN today, Randle El said that he doesn’t have major memory problems and is doing well enough mentally that he recently finished work on a master’s degree at George Washington University.
“The biggest thing I want people to realize is I’m not in any way in pain,” Randle El said. “I’m intact. I do have my memory. I’m not incapacitated.”
Randle El does sometimes get knee pain when walking down stairs but otherwise considers himself healthy. He said the biggest change he’d like to see in football is for young players to understand that if they’re hurt on the field, they should come out and get checked, and not try to tough it out as he sometimes did during his playing days.
As for saying he regrets playing football, Randle El said that was misconstrued: Randle El was a great all-around athlete who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1997, and he now wonders if he would have had a more successful career playing baseball than he did playing football. But he said the sacrifices he made to play football were worth it, and he’s doing well today.