Sporting a Magen David, Patriots player Julian Edelman announced that he is retiring from football after 12 years with the team.
Injured last season, Edelman said that it was time to move on from the game. The two-time Super Bowl winner and wide receiver was a favorite target of Tom Brady’s when he was on the team. Edelman had three seasons of over 90 receptions and two seasons of more than 1,000 receiving yards, leading to speculation that he will be a hall of famer soon.
“Is Julian Edelman not a Hall of Famer?” CBS Sports Analyst and former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, asked on a Boston radio station in January, 2019. “The guy is clutch in the biggest of games. I don’t know what else to tell you. He is, in my eyes, truly the definition of a Hall of Famer: Make the play when the play needs to be made in the biggest games to win the game.”
Edelman’s relationship with Judaism
In 2012 Edelman told reporters: “I’m not completely Jewish, if you know what I mean. I know people want me to be. My father is Jewish. My mother isn’t. I’ve been asked this before. I guess you could say I’m kind of Jewish but not really.”
A year later during an NFL Network interview in 2013, Edelman stated that he identifies as Jewish. And in his 2017 memoir, Relentless, Edelman revealed that he speaks weekly to a “Rabbi Yossi in Los Angeles.”
Recently the football star announced that he is currently studying in L.A. for his bar mitzvah and that he has also traveled to Israel.
After the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in 2018 that killed 11, he wore special cleats with Hebrew letters on them to honor the victims.
He also tweeted: “My heart is broken for the families in Pittsburgh. It’s hard to even imagine such senselessness. As a Jew, an American and a human, I’m devastated.”
During his final seasons in the NFL Edelman was the most outwardly Jewish player in the league.
Edelman tweets about his Jewish journey often, he has worn an Israeli flag pin on the field, gone an a Birthright-style trip, and has written a children’s book that includes a reference to Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. He also makes himself available to other athletes to educate them on antisemitism. In March, 2021, Edelman reached out to Miami Heat player Meyers Leonard after he used an antisemitic slur during a livestream.
Originally Published Apr 13 2021 07:02AM EDT
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