Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis, younger brother to Washington NFL star tight end Vernon Davis, shocked his entire team Sunday when he quit during halftime of the Bills’ matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, telling teammates that he was retiring.
According to reports, Davis, a 30-year-old two-time Pro Bowler, pulled himself out of the game just before halftime, and then informed Bills head coach Sean McDermott that he “was done,” choosing to retire at halftime, instead of finishing the game.
“Pulled himself out of the game. He communicated to us that he was done,” McDermott told reporters, per Fox News.
Davis later tweeted an explanation for his sudden retirement.
“This isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL,” the statement said. “But today on the field, reality hit me and hard. I shouldn’t be out there anymore.”
The Washington, D.C. native mentioned how the mental and physical toll of fighting through injuries have worn on him, and how he didn’t want to sacrifice his health anymore.
“Mentally, I always expect myself to play at a high level. But physically, I know today that isn’t possible, and I had an honest moment with myself… I also wondered: Do I want to keep sacrificing?” Davis wrote.
“And truthfully, I do not because the season is long, and it’s more important for me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late.”
But while Davis said in his Twitter statement that he meant no disrespect to his teammates, Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander told reporters that he still felt highly disrespected.
“I don’t have nothing to say about Vontae,” Alexander told reporters after the game, according to ESPN. “I’m going to give him a little bit more respect than he showed us today, as far as quitting on us in the middle of the game.”
Alexander was actually the first person to break news to the media of Davis’ sudden departure.
“Never have seen it ever,” Alexander said, when asked if he ever heard of anyone retiring during a game before. “Pop Warner, high school, college, pros. Never heard of it. Never seen it. And it’s just completely disrespectful to his teammates. … He didn’t say nothing to nobody. … I found out going into the second half of the game. They said he’s not coming out, he retired. That’s it.”
Perry Green, AFRO Sports Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org