Luck-less Lesson

Andrew Luck. The reaction to his recent retirement announcement demonstrates a dangerous reality for men who fear being viewed as “not tough enough.” Photo by Zach Bolinger Icon Sportswire / Getty, used here under the fair use doctrine. 

Andrew Luck recently announced he was retiring from football. And I want to use today’s post to briefly touch on the response to his announcement, because it demonstrates a mentality that is so harmful for men everywhere. 

Luck’s announcement was abrupt for sure, with the regular season just around the corner. In his announcement, he cited the growing mental and physical toll injuries and the game have taken. Some, recognizing the inherent risk of football and acknowledging that it is important to always prioritize your own health over any given job, have applauded his decision. Yet others have had a less amiable response. 

Numerous people responded by questioning his manhood, saying he isn’t being a “team” player, or saying that he should just “suck it up.” These comments demonstrate the “tough man” mentality that is so harmful. Showing weakness, asking for help, or taking a step back to take care of yourself first is seen as “unmanly.” And because of this mentality too many men suffer in silence.

And too many die in silence as well. 

Although it is always out there, it is rare that this “manly mentality” is so focused and on display as it is right now with the response to Luck’s retirement. Yet when these moments come along, it is important to call out this mentality for what it is: wrong and downright dangerous. There is no right way to be a man. Yet attacking someone for taking care of themselves or for asking for help is definitely the wrong way. 

The NFL and fantasy football fans everywhere may be left Luck-less moving forward, but if anything comes out of this Luck-less lesson, it should be a reminder to always take care of yourself and ignore what the naysayers may say.

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