Chris Long, a Super Bowl champion in recent years with the Patriots and the Eagles, announced his retirement from the NFL on Saturday.
Cheers. Been a hell of a journey. Eleven years and I can honestly say I put my soul into every minute of it. Highs and lows. I’ve seen them both and I appreciate the perspective. Gratitude and love to those who lifted me up. pic.twitter.com/Ap8zi73Ifl
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) May 19, 2019
The former Virginia Cavalier played 11 seasons with the Rams, Patriots, and Eagles, before calling it quits. During that time he amassed 70 sacks and had four seasons of at least eight sacks.
However, and perhaps most notably, Long was a social justice activist who supported fellow protesting players in Philadelphia. The son of famed Fox NFL analyst Howie Long, became a regular fixture alongside teammate Malcolm Jenkins. While Jenkins stood with his fist raised during the national anthem, Long put his hand on his teammates back to support him.
Long also bluntly refused to go to the White House to celebrate the Eagles championship in 2018.
Telling reporters, “No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?”
Long also told FS1’s Colin Cowherd, when questioned about the possibility that the anthem protests were hurting the NFL’s ratings, that NFL players cared more about their “social conscience,” than the league’s “ratings.”
“[W]hile there are a lot of studies that show the ratings are down, I would say a lot of people are having more fun watching football than ever. But, at the end of the day, I think what you’re seeing is a bunch of guys that care more about their social conscience or standing up for the things they believe in over the ratings and over the bottom dollar.”
This claim certainly didn’t age well considering that Colin Kaepernick, the face of the NFL anthem protest movement, walked away from the game and his protest movement after accepting a relatively paltry grievance settlement from the NFL.
“He was also named the 2018 Walton Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. Long donated his entire 2017 salary to charity, with the money from each game check going to a different charity,” UPI reports.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn