Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced on Sunday that he’s stepping away from football to focus on his “mental wellbeing.”
“These past few weeks have been challenging and as much as I’d like to be on the field competing with my teammates, I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing,” Ridley posted to Twitter on Sunday. “This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future.”
The 26-year-old wide receiver cited "personal matters" for missing his second game of the season, but has not offered details.
Speaking at a team press conference on Oct. 21, Ridley said: "I mean, in today's world, me personally, it shouldn't matter, you should mind your business... But in today's world, yeah, I do. To me, if I say it's personal, that means it's personal."
Ridley, a first-round pick by the Falcons in 2018, said it would be a short-term issue, ESPN noted.
Ridley follows other prominent athletes including tennis star Noami Osaka, U.S. gymnast Simone Biles and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price who have taken time off in their respective sports to focus on their mental health.