Since his retirement in August, Boldin has been armed with an answer everywhere he goes. And the truth is he’d prefer to be playing football. He’s 37, but it was his heart, not his body, that kept him from stretching his NFL career into a 15th season.
When a police officer shot and killed his cousin two years ago, he knew he would one day refocus his football energy toward advocating for criminal justice reform. When Colin Kaepernick began sitting and then kneeling during the national anthem last year, Boldin knew demonstrations could only advance the issue so far. And when he saw the images from Charlottesville, Virginia, on his hotel television screen in August, he felt he no longer recognized his nation. He knew he couldn’t wait any longer to get to work.
“Do I still love the game? Yes,” he tells the crowd. “Do I still have a passion to play? Of course I do. But I feel like for me there is something more important than football at this point in my life.”