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Last Tuesday the Chicago White Sox slugger, Adam LeRoche, shocked the entire baseball community and Chicago’s fans, as he announced a surprising early retirement. Apparently, his decision to walking away from a 13 million deal for this season, answered a controversial dispute with the team’s president, Ken Williams. According to several news media, Williams told LaRoche that he had to limit the time his 14-year-old son, Drake, spent with the team.

White Sox’s players reacted in support of their teammate and threat of not playing the spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers. If LeRoche stands for his word and continues with his retirement, he will be joining a big list of professional athletes who have retired or will be retiring this early 2016. Let’s go over some of the biggest names that decided to compete no more.

basketball, Early 2016 Professional Athlete RetirementsLate 2015

Around 19, NFL players announced along 2015 that it would be their last pro football season. One of them was the five-time Pro Bowl receiver, Steve Smith. In August 2015, he told the Baltimore Ravens that he would retire at the end of the season. The 36-year-old, five-time Pro Bowl receiver is one of 12 players in NFL history with over 900 receptions.

Later in September, the 38-year-old unbeaten boxer, Floyd Mayweather, fought for the last time against Adre Berto. Mayweather retired with a sterling 49-0 record. Also in September, the 40-year-old right-hander pitcher, Tim Hudson revealed that he was planning to retire at the end of that current season­—his 17th in the major leagues.

In December, soccer star, Abby Wambach played her final game with the USWNT in New Orleans. She owns 2 Olympic gold medals and a World Cup title. Wambach, who finished her career as America’s all-time leading scorer in both the World Cup and Olympics, is also the top scorer in international soccer history with 184 goals.

Early 2016

Even though some of them are active at the moment, several professional athletes announced last year that this would be their last season. For example: “The Black Mamba”.

Kobe Bryant, announced on November 29th, 2015, that he is calling it quits. Even though the Lakers are not at their best for quite a bit now, no one can forget or deny what Kobe did for the sport. He is a 5-time NBA Champ (all with Lakers) and former MVP.

Peyton Manning Broncos

Peyton Manning by Jeffrey Beall 

NASCAR also suffered considerable losses in the last months. Last year, Jeff Gordon announced that he would retire at the end of the 2015 season, before the Daytona 500. Gordon is a four-time Cup champ with 93 Cup wins, 325 top fives, and 475 top tens in 797 races.

Following his lead, Tony Stewart announced last September that this 2016 season would be his last. Stewart’s career includes winning 48 Cups with 182 top fives, and 300 top tens in 590 races. “Smoke” is also a three-time Cup champion.

Back in the NFL, around a week and a half ago, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game retired. On Monday, March 7th, Peyton Manning addressed the media at Denver Broncos‘ headquarters and said goodbye to his fans. The 39-year-old quarterback retired after 18 seasons of professional football and two Super Bowl victories.

Most recently, besides LeRoche’s shocking decision, Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson, officially retired on Tuesday before the new league year began. Johnson is only 30, and it has raised concerns on NFL officials, as more and more players are deciding to call it quits in their early careers.

The year is just beginning, but the first three months of 2016, have already claimed some of the most recognized names in sports. And most probably we will be hearing of more sports stars deciding that for them: it has been enough.

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