Hamza Abdullah: Come Follow Me: A Memoir. the NFL. a Transition. a Challenge. a Change.
Hamza Abdullah, author
A retired NFL player goes on a journey to find out why NFL players go broke, get divorced and/or commit suicide. What began as misplaced anger transformed into an expedition to accurately assess the perils football players experience when they leave the field of play. In this memoir, Hamza discusses concussions, CTE, PTSD and suicide.
Abdullah, who played safety for four NFL teams from 2005 to 2011, recounts his life in and out of professional football, focusing on what he calls “The Transition”—how to navigate the “financial, physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual or mental” challenges that players face when they leave the game. Abdullah criticizes the way the NFL “indoctrinates” players to rely solely on the team to the detriment of each individual player (“I assumed I would be integrated into NFL culture with the protection of a shepherd. I was sadly mistaken”). He critiques college player evaluations (“a modern-day slave trade where we were measured, weighed, and evaluated purely on our physical appearance”) and contract negotiations (“In the NFL we don’t sign contracts. We sign promissory notes, with people whose fingers are crossed behind their backs”). Abdullah also writes movingly about how deepening his Muslim faith helped him endure difficult times and bring “compassion, empathy and heart” to professional athletes and to develop “a playbook for the NFL afterlife.” Abdullah provides a unique and important look at the life of NFL players today. (BookLife)