One Concussion Too Many: Denzel Washington Is Glad His Son Quit Pro Football

Date July 24, 2018

When it comes to good looks and that suave charm, 64-year-old Denzel Washington is the one to beat. Thankfully, he got to pass on his superstar essence to his son, John David Washington. The younger Washington, however, chose a different career path from his father.


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In college, he picked an interest in American football and eventually joined the NFL as an undrafted signee by the then St. Louis Rams. However, he spent two seasons on the practice squad and didn’t see much play time.


During a brief stint playing with NFL Europa’s Rhein Fire, he got a taste of superstardom, more for his good looks than his game and adoring European fans could not help but point out his resemblance to his famous father. The icing on the cake was when he bagged a role on HBO’s sports dramedy, “Ballers” and his rugged charm is working as always.


In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Denzel Washington said he was quite happy when his son decided to quit professional football in 2016 to focus on his acting career. He cited health concerns as his major issue with the sport and the damage athletes suffer.

He’s had I don’t know how many concussions, a broken collarbone, a torn up knee and Achilles [tendon].  No, I’m glad it’s over.

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Denzel Washington’s concern about the physical injury is not out of order, as several physicians over the years have brought this to the attention of football authorities in the past. For him, seeing his son on a career path that poses suggestively lower risks keeps his mind at ease.


While he may be off the pitch, the younger Washington is still putting his experience as a sportsman to good use in "Ballers". He plays football star Ricky Jerret and confessed that he feeds off his experience as a player and working with players in his character development.



John David is not only Washington following his father’s example. His sister Katia has also featured on popular films and TV shows. The younger Washington children, Malcolm and Olivia are also pursuing careers in the film industry.

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Denzel Washington Football