Terry Crews Recalls the Moment He Decided to Quit Playing Football in New Memoir

Corey Cesare
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Terry CrewsGregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

America’s Got Talent judge Terry Crews was originally known as part of the NFL before making his way onto the talent series. Years later, he’s revealed the real reason he left the sport all together for an art based lifestyle.


The beloved talent show host recently sat down to discuss his new memoir Tough: My Journey to True Power, which released on April 26. This memoir is Crews’s second release. His first, entitled Manhood: How to Be a Better Man-or Just Live with One touched on his lifelong quest to become a good man, loving husband, and father. Within this book he touched on the topic of toxic masculinity. Tough: My Journey to True Power touches on Crews’s experience as a former toxic male and how he overcame it.

Terry Crews Reveals The Reason He Quit Football, Inspiration Behind Memoir

The actor explained that he used to react with rage in many situations while part of the NFL. He expressed that rage itself is something that makes NFL players successful, the more rage a person has the more they can be hit around. Crews noted that his wife was the reason he trained himself to not react with rage.

“I was trying out for the 49ers.. the coach threw the ball at me and dislocated my finger. My finger was sitting there like an L and I was like ‘I don’t like this anymore. Why am I playing? I don’t like it,'” Crews said in an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers. “This was the thing that hit me. I realized that I just liked playing outside all day with my friends. That was it.”


Crews emphasizes that athletes are people that need approval from others. Approval from coaches, other players, and fans. While he did receive said approval, he realized that the sport itself wasn’t worth it to him in the long run.

Crews stayed true to his other interest, art, while playing in the NFL. While on the bench, he offered to paint other players portraits. Some players agreed and paid pretty well for the art work. Crews’s side hustle was strong, he shared that he would make more money for his family’s income with the paintings. Once he decided to leave the NFL, he immediately went into a more art based career in Hollywood. The talent show host made it seem like the career path change aided in his life change.

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