football Edit

UCLA DB Martell Irby announces retirement from football

In a music video posted to his YouTube account, UCLA defensive back Martell Irby announced his retirement and cited mental health struggles.

The 2-minute, 45-second rap video, titled “This is Goodbye” under the name Audemar Tell, was partially filmed on UCLA’s practice field and mixed in Irby’s game highlights over his four-year career.

“It was one hell of a ride, but everything must come to an end,” Irby wrote in the video’s description. “I will forever be thankful for football, it’s just time for me to start the next chapter in my life…”

Among the lyrics, Irby details some of his darkest thoughts but adds “this don’t mean I’m suicidal.”

“I’m tired of living this life,” Irby continues. “It just feels like I’ve got no purpose…”

Irby missed most of spring camp with an undisclosed injury before taking part in the final week.

In 2021, Irby appeared in all 12 games and made 28 tackles (5 1/2 for a loss) and blocked a punt.

He also appeared in 20 games as a running back, collecting 221 yards rushing and a touchdown on 55 carries.

In addition to football, his talents extended to music. He was part of an award-winning jazz ensemble at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. In his UCLA bio, he lists jazz, piano and saxophone among his hobbies and interests.

In a separate 11-minute, 32-second vlog titled “Up and Left Everything,” Irby detailed a situation in which he missed practice and attempts by the UCLA coaching staff to contact him. After the unsuccessful calls, the staff reached out to Irby’s mother in an attempt to reach him.

Irby eventually went to the airport and flew home to his family to have an open discussion about his struggles. Soon after the trip, Irby made his decision to retire.