After 18 seasons in the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement on Thursday.
He made the statement in a Twitter video a few weeks after the team was eliminated from the NFL playoffs in the wild-card round by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Roethlisberger thanked the Lord "first and foremost" for the blessings he bestowed on him. He also expressed his gratitude for the nearly two decades of being with the Steelers.
The quarterback thanked God again for surrounding him with great people and protecting him until the end of his football career with love and honor.
The NFL star said he plans to clean his locker, put up his cleats, and be the best father he can be to his children now that he is retired. He mentioned his parents, sister, wife, children, and coaches.
He also thanked his fans for their support throughout the years, saying playing football will always be one of his greatest accomplishments.
"Putting that jersey on every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life. I retire from football a truly grateful man," Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger will leave the NFL with two Super Bowl championships, six Pro Bowl titles, and the 2004 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award from Miami University, where he began his professional career. He threw for 64,088 yards and 418 touchdowns in his career. According to CBN News, Roethlisberger has 165 NFL wins to his record.
Since he did not state he was retiring yet, a reporter clarified his excitement to begin a new chapter in his life during the press conference. Roethlisberger then expressed his excitement at the prospect of being a 24/7 husband and parent, which he describes as fun, different, and a new challenge that he is nervous about.
After gaining attention, Roethlisberger was highly expected to retire when he said to ESPN that God has "really blessed" him during an on-field interview. He thanked his fans, family, and the Lord a few weeks ago in what was likely the last home game on January 3.
After the Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 26-14 that day, emotions ran high as "Big Ben" made a victory lap around Heinz Field. Three large words were written on the large video board as he left Heinz Field that night: "Thank you, Ben."
Roethlisberger has been open about his Christian faith - as well as his challenges with it. During the ManUp Pittsburgh event in 2020, he talked about dealing with addictions like alcohol and pornography. Athletes are just like the rest of us, he remarked.
Despite these difficulties, he believes he can overcome obstacles and problems by trusting God. Roethlisberger also revealed that he had been baptized for the second time three years before his statement and had rededicated his life to God.
Last December, during a thrilling victory against the Baltimores, Roethlisberger owed the victory to God, whom he described as "good." He has been open about his Christian faith and has spoken about it multiple times, including trusting God with his career's future.
He acknowledged God after suffering a devastating elbow injury in 2019. The quarterback said he could only trust God's plan, but he is committed to overcoming the obstacle and returning stronger than ever in the next season.