On Sunday, Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis decided to retire from the NFL - at halftime! I don't remember the last time I saw a player walk away from the game before it even ended.
Why did Davis retire so suddenly? He cited a few reasons; many of which can be found within the statement he released immediately after the game:
"I meant no disrespect to my teammates and coaches. But I hold myself to a higher standard. Mentally, I always expect myself to play at a high level. But physically, I know today that isn't possible, and I had an honest moment with myself. While I was on the field, I just didn't feel right, and I told the coaches "I'm not feeling like myself.
I also wondered: Do I want to keep sacrificing?
And truthfully, I do not because the season is long, and it's more important for me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and walk away too late."
I think there are two sides to this story, and both are relatively valid in my view.
Since he didn't feel like he had the ability to complete the game, maybe it was honorable for him to step aside. You don't usually see that with employees who deep down know they aren't committed or passionate enough to a job or task. Could you imagine if more people started employing Davis' practice in the workplace?
The shoe and clothing company Zappos famously started giving employees "The Offer". The company would offer each employee a $1,000 bonus if they quit! Amazon later adopted this practice, which all started as an attempt to keep the right people on board while eliminating unproductive employees who were clearly just in it for the money.
At Steiner Sports, I always try to make sure every employee knows how important their role is to the success of the company, whether they're responsible for mailing checks to athletes or packaging and shipping items in our warehouse.
What was it costing the Bills to keep Vontae Davis on-board? Maybe he made the right decision allowing the team to open his spot for a young player with potential.
On the other side - a lot of people are very critical of Davis for leaving his team behind. It didn't help that the Bills lost the game 31-20. Even though Davis didn't value himself at the same level, his team still expected him to go out and contribute. He may have been able to make a difference.
Commitment isn't always convenient. Is there ever a good time to end a relationship though? Is there ever a happy ending to a relationship that ends prematurely?
What would you have done if you were Vontae Davis? Would you feel like you owed it to your coworkers/teammates to finish the job, or would you rather allow someone else to fill your role if you couldn't do it to the best of your ability?
Song of the Day: "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" by The Clash
Quote of the Day: "Retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of the open highway" - Anonymous