Antwaan Randle El, Former Pittsburgh Steelers Star, Says He Wouldn't Play Football Again

By Devon Newport (devon.newport@mstarsnews.com) | Jan 20, 2016 03:40 PM EST
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Antwaan Randle El was a dynamic and explosive player in the NFL. He could return kicks, catch passes, and even throw a good pass every once in a while--just as he did in Super Bowl XL when he connected with Hines Ward for a 43-yard touchdown, forever living on in Pittsburgh Steeler folklore--but he says if he had the choice to do it all again, well, he wouldn't.

"If I could go back, I wouldn't," Randle El told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettle when asked, if he had the chance, would he play football again. "I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn't play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don't get me wrong, I love the game of football. But, right now, I could still be playing baseball."

But instead, not only is he a few years removed from the world of professional sports, but he says he has complications because of his time spent playing football.

"I have to come down sideways sometimes, depending on the day," Randle El said, in regards to the every day task of walking down stairs. "Going up is easier actually than coming down."

Not only that, but unfortunately he feels as though his mind is beginning to experience issues as well.

"I ask my wife things over and over again, and she's like, 'I just told you that,'" Randle El said. "I'll ask her three times the night before and get up in the morning and forget. Stuff like that. I try to chalk it up as I'm busy, I'm doing a lot, but I have to be on my knees praying about it, asking God to allow me to not have these issues and live a long life. I want to see my kids raised up. I want to see my grandkids."

Randle El retired from football in 2010. He's now 36. Since leaving the game of football behind, he helped start a Christian high school in Ashburn, Va., called Virginia Academy. In the beginning, he helped fund a football team for the school. But the team has since been dropped--mainly for financial reasons--but it's something Randle El has no qualms about.

"It's a tough pill to swallow because I love the game of football," Randle El said. "But I tell parents, you can have the right helmet, the perfect pads on, and still end up with a paraplegic kid."

But still, he realizes the impact that the NFL has on American society today. However, he thinks that's something that may change in the future.

"Right now," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if football isn't around in 20-25 years."

As for that, only time will tell.

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