Ben Roethlisberger Confirms Retirement After 18 Seasons with Steelers: 'The Time Has Come'

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Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger

Gregory Shamus/Getty Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger, the longtime NFL quarterback who helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to two Super Bowl victories during his 18 seasons with the team, has confirmed his retirement.

Roethlisberger, who had previously been reported to be retiring after the 2021-2022 season, made the announcement official in a video shared on social media, Thursday — two weeks after the Steelers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in their Wild Card game.

"I don't know how to put into words what the game of football has meant to me, and what a blessing it's been," said Roethlisberger, 39, in the video. "While I know with confidence that I gave my all to the game, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all it has given me. A boy from Findlay, Ohio, with NFL dreams, developed in Oxford at Miami University, blessed with the honor of 18 seasons as a Pittsburgh Steeler."

In the clip, during which he was flanked by his wife Ashley and their three children, the now-former quarterback said that "the journey has been exhilarating, defined by relationships and fueled by a spirit of competition. Yet the time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children. I retire from football a truly grateful man."

Addressing his wife and kids Baylee, Body and Ben, Roethlisberger said, "[You] inspire me and give my life purpose. I am so thankful for your love and support, I love you so much."

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Also thanking his parents and sister, as well as his former coaches, the Steelers' owners, and his teammates, Roethlisberger said, "Football has been a gift and I thank God for allowing me to play it."

The athlete was selected in the first round of 2004 NFL Draft after a college tenure at Miami University (Ohio), and spent his entire professional career with the Steelers. The Rookie of the Year-winner helped the team make three Super Bowl appearances, with wins in Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII. During his reign as quarterback, the Steelers played in 12 postseasons and secured eight division titles.

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As news of his retirement made headlines, the Steelers paid tribute to their longtime quarterback on their social media accounts.

The Pennsylvania franchise wrote on Twitter, "For everything you've done for the organization, the city, and for the game. #ThankYou7."

The team also shared a video of some of Roethlisberger's teammates congratulating him on the retirement. Said Vance McDonald, "It's been an honor, an absolute honor watching you play your career out."

Kendall Simmons added to Roethlisberger, "I'm gonna tell you, the way you played the game, throughout your entire career. I didn't think you were gonna make it to this time. But God blessed you with the ability to play the game, a unique way that I don't think any other quarterback will be able to play."

Roethlisberger's career has not been without controversy, with the athlete being accused of sexually assaulting two women in separate incidents in 2008 and 2010. Roethlisberger denied the allegations in the first incident and a civil suit was settled out of court in 2011. The second incident resulted in no charges for the former quarterback, but he was given a four-game suspension by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

He has also been candid about grappling with addictions to pornography and alcohol, saying in 2020 that finding faith helped him through both.

Roethlisberger said at the ManUp Pittsburgh event in June 2020, "People don't realize all the time that us athletes, we're human. We sin like everybody else. I am no different. We make mistakes. We get addicted to things. We sin. We're human."

"Go ahead and be the best athlete you can be and see if you can be a better Christian," he said later of his mentality, ESPN reported at the time. "And that's what I'm trying to do now. I'm trying to be a better Christian than I am [an] athlete and football player. I push myself every day to do that, and it starts here. It's not always easy."

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