Former Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe has announced his retirement in a post on The Players’ Tribune.
“Today, I am making my exit from the game of football,” Monroe wrote. “I’m leaving the sport I love—the sport that has consumed my existence for the last 18 years—to start a new life. I’m nervous, but I feel like I’m ready for whatever comes next.”
Monroe, 29, played seven seasons in the NFL for the Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars, who selected him in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft. Baltimore released him in June, which Monroe attributed to his outspoken advocacy of marijuana legalization.
“Even though my football career is over, I plan to continue to be a vocal advocate for medical marijuana research, particularly as it relates to CTE,” Monroe said. “More steps need to be taken to curb the overuse of opioids in NFL locker rooms, and I won’t rest until something is done.”
Monroe cited concern over his health as his reason for retiring at a relatively young age, saying he was “terrified” of developing CTE as a result of years of football head trauma.