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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

29-year-old Colts QB Andrew Luck retired from the NFL on Saturday night, saying constant injuries have taken away his love for the game.

Why it matters: This is the most shocking retirement American sports has seen since the 1990s, when Barry Sanders quit football at age 30 (1999) and Michael Jordan left the NBA for the first time (1993).

"For the last four years or so, I've been in this cycle of injury, pain, rehab — injury, pain, rehab — and it's been unceasing, unrelenting. I felt stuck in it, and the only way I see out is to no longer play football. It's taken my joy of this game away."
I've come to the proverbial fork in the road, and I made a vow to myself that if I ever did again, I'd choose me, in a sense. ... This is not an easy decision. It's the hardest decision of my life. But it is the right decision for me."
— Andrew Luck's retirement statement

The big picture: 29-year-old quarterbacks don't just leave the NFL — especially those on track to earn as much as $500 million in future salary and end their careers as all-time greats.

  • Add in the surreal scene on Saturday — news broke on Twitter during the Colts-Bears game, forcing Luck to make the announcement at a hastily-assembled press conference rather than on Sunday, as originally planned — and you have a rare "where were you when…" moment.

What they're saying:

  • "People walk away from lucrative careers ... or stress-filled jobs .... because they realize that what once seemed so appealing was now getting in the way of real happiness and fulfillment. ... Money won't buy you happiness but it can buy you freedom, and so Luck, with all his millions, exercised his." (Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports)
  • "There are basically two ways to react upon learning the news of an athletic retirement: aww or whoa! The first reaction goes out with love for the world's graceful agers … Others [are] the unexpected departures, the whoa!s, the goodbyes that seem like a glitch." (Katie Baker, The Ringer)

The bottom line: This isn't the end of Andrew Luck. It's the beginning of the rest of his life. (Though, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if we see him back under center in the future.)

Go deeper:

Go deeper

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the US-Mexico border wall at Friendship Park in San Ysidro, California in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.

Biden picks up his pen to change the tone on racial equity

Vice President Harris looks on as President Biden signs executives orders related to his racial equity agenda. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden is making a down payment on racial equity in a series of executive orders dealing with everything from private prisons to housing discrimination, treatment of Asian Americans and relations with indigenous tribes.

The big picture: Police reform and voting rights legislation will take time to pass in Congress. But with the stroke of his pen, one week into the job Biden is taking steps within his power as he seeks to change the tone on racial justice from former President Trump.

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial, making it highly unlikely the Senate will vote to convict. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.