OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Robert Griffin III was shocked by Andrew Luck‘s decision to retire, but the Baltimore Ravens quarterback commended him for the amount of courage it took to leave the game on his own terms.
“We’re looked at as superheroes and not human beings,” Griffin said after Sunday’s practice. “For him to have that human element, to express it in the press conference after the game, go and talk to the media and answer questions, I thought that was really big.”
Luck, 29, announced his retirement from the NFL on Saturday night, saying constant injuries have taken away his love for the game.
Griffin said he has always “silently” competed against Luck, dating to when they were both star high school quarterbacks in Texas. In 2011, Griffin beat out Luck for the Heisman Trophy. The next year, Luck was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft and Griffin was taken right after him.
It was only two years ago when Griffin was close to being in the spot where Luck is today as injuries nearly ended RG III’s career.
“When I was out of football in 2017, I can’t say I was making the decision to retire. But I was at that point where you’re tired of being injured, tired of being hurt and tired of having to go through that process — [Luck] called it ‘pain-injury-rehab’ — and just repeating that process over and over and over,” Griffin said.
“I completely understand where he’s coming from. But I decided to keep pushing forward.”
Griffin, who is in his second season as the Ravens’ backup quarterback, wasn’t pleased by the poor reception that Luck received from Colts fans when walking off the field Saturday night.
“I think all the fans that booed would probably say that wasn’t their proudest moment,” Griffin said. “As players, we get signed to teams and we give our all for those teams. I’ve personally never been booed in Washington, but if I had been after what I gave that team … A lot of people would say I gave it my career; I don’t think I did, because I’m still fighting. But if you get that feeling from them [boos], it makes it feel like they don’t appreciate what you’ve done and what you’ve sacrificed to put that helmet on.”