Former NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. thinks ex–Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has set an amazing example by retiring early. In 2017 Earnhardt Jr. stepped away from racing after suffering more than a dozen concussions, saying he wanted to go out on his own terms.
Kuechly has suffered at least three concussions since 2015 and said he had doubts that he can play fast, physical, and strong anymore.
Earnhardt Jr. knows how difficult of choice it must have been for Kuechly but thinks that people will look up to him for the decision.
“When you get in those types of situations that he was in, you have to make some difficult choices, and I think he made the right one,” Earnhardt told reporters on Wednesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “I feel like that a lot of people can learn from that. I think he set an amazing example for a lot of young folks to follow.”
Earnhardt Jr. knows that Kuechly probably wanted to play longer, but he did what he feels is right and it's something that people need to respect.
“I’m sure he would have loved to have played longer, but he’s made some amazing, great choices for himself and for his family and his future,” Earnhardt said about Kuechly. “And he feels strongly about that decision. All you can do is support that. … You have to want to support his decision.”
With more information coming out about concussions and head trauma, it wouldn't be shocking to see more players across all sports do this as the now-retired Panthers linebackers announced this week.