Gibran Latif Hamdan announced his retirement from professional football on June 4th. He was just a few days into mini-camp with the Canadian Football Leagueâ€™s Toronto Argonauts. He was in a five-way battle for the Argonautsâ€™ starting quarterback job. â€œIt has been a tough couple of days for me,â€ Hamdan told the Toronto Sun. â€œWhen I was looking my teammates in the eye in the huddle, I knew that my dedication was not there. Iâ€™ve looked in the mirror the last two nights and I just knew.â€ Hamdan was new to the CFL, but he made it clear that his decision to retire was not spurred by unfamiliarity with new surroundings. â€œI donâ€™t want anybody to think this is a reflection of the league,â€ Hamdan said. â€œIâ€™m retiring from all of football, period. Youâ€™re not going to see me on another team.â€
These were some words said about him by the quarterbacks competing with him in camp: â€œI hate to see the guy go. He was a great guy and I enjoyed being around him â€¦â€ â€œYou know itâ€™s too bad â€¦ I thought me and Gibran got along really well. I enjoyed his company and heâ€™s always looking out for me.â€ His coach, Jim Barker, had kind words as well. â€œGibran competed very well in camp but sometimes players get that feeling that it is time for them to retire,â€ Barker said. â€œWe respect his decision and wish him all the best in the future.â€
Hamdanâ€™s competitive sports career began at Indiana University, where he played football and baseball. He was then drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2003 in the 7th round. Hamdan went on to become a member of the Amsterdam Admirals of the World League of American Football, in addition to NFL stops with the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills. He had just signed with Toronto in March. A product of Palestinian and Pakistani parents, Hamdan recently got married, and his plans for now have him returning to his family in Minnesota. Inshallah his post-football career will be fortuitous.