Ravens defensive end Ma’ake Kemoeatu has decided to end his nine year NFL career early to provide his younger brother with the greatest gift of all, life.
Earlier this year Kemoeatu’s younger brother Chris, who was playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was forced to retire after it was discovered that he would need a kidney transplant. After hearing this news Ma’ake decided to get tested to see if he was a match, and when he got the results that he was there was no hesitation when it came to giving up his own career to help out his younger brother.
“He couldn’t play anymore, and I didn’t want to be in a position where he couldn’t play but I’d keep playing,” said Ma’ake. “As soon as my brother’s brother’s health was at risk I wanted to stop everything.”
Ma’ake has a past of helping out his brothers when they need him most. During his senior year at the University of Utah his other little brother Tevita, who was a walk on player at Utah, couldn’t afford to buy books so Ma’ake bought them for him. Ultimately, the NCAA deemed this as a violation despite outcry from the community, and Ma’ake was forced to sit out his final college game.
“If my brother or any of my siblings needed my blood, they have to have my blood. If any of my siblings needed a kidney, it would have to be my kidney,” he said.
Ma’ake’s selfless attitude made him an invaluable asset to the Ravens during the 2012 season. His leadership and dominant play on the Ravens front helped the franchise to a Super Bowl Championship in 2012. In retirement he will be remembered as one of the greatest guys to have ever played in the National Football League.
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