With the announcement of the death of former Giants wide receiver Stacy Robinson yesterday came sadness in the sports world, as Robinson was not only a star on the field in the ’80s, he was well-known and well-liked in his role with the NFL player’s union. Robinson died after a battle with blood cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2009. He was just 50 years old.
While some of the things he’ll be remembered for–helping his team win the Super Bowl in 1987 against the Denver Broncos and again in 1991, career-high numbers in a game against San Francisco in ’86–are outstanding achievements, Robinson will also be well-regarded for choosing to retire early, at the tender age of 29, to finish his school career.
Just six months after winning the ’91 Super Bowl against the Bills, Robinson decided to leave behind the fame and money that came with playing for the Giants to work on his Master’s degree in business. Not many people could walk away from what some would call a career-high in sports, but Robinson did it successfully and then went on to work for the NFL for the rest of his professional career, overseeing player issues.
His career and legacy will remain in the hearts of many players, colleagues, and teammates who admired and respected him, and may just serve as a standard for a new generation.