On June 18, future NFL Hall of Fame running back Ladainian Tomlinson came home and retired as a San Diego Charger after an 11-year career.

“It wasn’t because I didn’t want to play anymore,” he said, “It was simply time to move on.”

Often referred to by his initials “L.T.,” Tomlinson leaves the game as the NFL’s fifth all-time leading rusher.  In January of 2007, he was named the NFL’s MVP and in October of 2010, he joined NFL great Walter Payton in the annals of football history as as the only players in the NFL to ever gain 13,000 yards rushing and 4,000 yards receiving.

As storied as Tomlinson’s gridiron career was, it is likely that his work ethic, his humility and his stature off the field which will endear him to fans long after his records have been broken and the memory of his plays are forgotten.  As a husband and father of two small children, Tomlinson has been admired throughout his career for his commitment to community service and his work to enrich the lives of others.

His Tomlinson’s Touching Lives Foundation offers underprivileged children and families a variety of giveaways including holiday food deliveries, tickets to sporting events and football camp scholarships to aspiring athletes. In 2008 he received the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year award in recognition for his philanthropic endeavors.

At a time when many players find it difficult to “let go” and remain in their sports long after they’ve stopped being effective, Ladainian Tomlinson seemed optimistic and hopeful about his life after football.

As his press conference to announce his retirement drew to a close, Tomlinson said that he’s excited about retirement and he looks forward to being a fan and watching the current and future generations of players at work. But, as a genuine staple in the community, we suspect that we will be seeing much more of Ladainian Tomlinson as he continues his efforts to make a positive impact on the lives of others.

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