Not that I’m expecting football fans across the country to wake up and question whether they themselves are “pawns in a machine”, but the abrupt retirement of John Moffitt, as reported by the New York Times, is commendable and intriguing:
“I don’t want to risk health for money,” said Moffitt, 27, who walked away from about $1 million in salary, various benefits for retirees who play at least three seasons and quite possibly a trip to the Super Bowl with the 9-1 Broncos. “I’m happy, and I don’t need the N.F.L.”
In the off-season, Moffitt started reading the writings of the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky, among others. They helped him conclude that he was a pawn in a machine that controlled his life.
Moffitt insisted that he did not care about the lost income, and he was shocked that people thought he was nuts for walking away from what they think is a glamorous lifestyle. “I’m the one being called crazy, but I think everyone else is crazy,” Moffitt said. “It’s disturbing that people are questioning my sanity for giving up the money. What does that say about our world?”
Hundreds of players leave football each year, sometimes through injury and often by being cut. But rarely does a player retire midseason, especially when hanging on a few more months would guarantee him a pension, health care and other benefits. Moffitt said he gave up the rest of his $625,000 salary this year and could have made about $750,000 in 2014.