Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger officially announced Thursday his NFL retirement in a video posted to social media, offering gratitude “first and foremost” to God.
“First and foremost, I need to thank the Lord for all the many blessings he’s bestowed on me,” Roethlisberger said, as he journeyed through the many ways he’s grateful for his past nearly two decades with the Steelers.
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He again mentioned God as the video progressed, expressing thanks for his career and for the protection and people he encountered along the way.
“Football has been a gift, and I thank God for allowing me to play it,” he said. “Surrounding me with great people and protecting me through until the end with love and honor.”
With retirement upon him, the NFL star said he plans to clean his locker, hang up his cleats, and be all he can be to his family. He specifically mentioned his parents, sister, wife, children, and coaches.
“To my wife, Ashley, our children Benjamin, Bailey, and Bodie, you lift and inspire me and give my life purpose,” Roethlisberger said. “I am so thankful for your love and support. I love you so much.”
Watch the touching video:
The star player also thanked his fans for their support throughout the years and said playing football will always be one of his greatest honors.
“Putting that jersey on every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life,” Roethlisberger said. “I retire from football a truly grateful man.”
As Faithwire previously reported, it was widely expected Roethlisberger would retire. He recently captured attention for proclaiming God has incredibly “blessed” him, comments he made to ESPN during an on-field interview.
“I’m just so thankful for the fans, my family, obviously,” he said. “The good Lord has blessed me in so many ways.”
Roethlisberger has often been open about his Christian faith — and his struggles.
He discussed during the ManUp Pittsburgh event in 2020 facing addictions like alcohol and pornography. Athletes, he said, are humans like everyone else.
“We sin like everybody else. I am no different. We make mistakes. We get addicted to things. We sin. We’re human,” he said. “I think sometimes we get put on this pedestal where we can’t make mistakes. I’ve fallen as short as anybody. I’ve been addicted to alcohol. I’ve been addicted to pornography, which makes me then not the best husband, not the best father, not the best Christian I can be.”
Despite these struggles, he said it’s possible to overcome barriers and challenges and to press on with God.
“You have to dedicate yourself and understand that you can get out of it because of the grace of God and him saying, ‘Listen, you’re good enough for me the way you are. You don’t have to be perfect,'” he said.
Roethlisberger also shared during the event that he had been baptized a second time three years before his address — and had rededicated his life to God.
“I just felt that I needed to do that,” he said. “I wanted to have a closer walk, a better relationship with Jesus, with my wife, with my kids, my family, become a better person.”
Congrats to Roethlisberger as he embarks on a new journey.
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