Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger all but announced his retirement this weekend following a playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The QB thanked God for blessing him with his career in the NFL, but emphasized that the next “chapter” of his life will focus on his family and expanding “God’s kingdom.”
“I’m going to do everything I can to be the best husband and father I can be and try to expand God’s kingdom,” Roethlisberger said, according to CBN News.
“It’s tough. I’m proud to have played with these guys,” he told the media following the loss. “God has blessed me with an ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city, Pittsburgh, with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players, and it’s just been truly a blessing and I’m so thankful to him for the opportunity that he’s given me.”
“I’ve been here a long time, and it’s been a lot of fun,” Roethlisberger continued. “Like I said, God has blessed me … It was meant to be that I was going to wear black and gold. Draft day I had a black suit on with a gold tie. I’m just so thankful.”
“I mean, shoot, we thought last week was going to be the end,” he said. “We got blessed to play another football game. Didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but it’s a blessing to play this football game. How lucky are we that we get to play football for a living? We have to count our blessings.”
Roethlisberger told the media he’s “excited” about what the future holds.
“I’m nervous. No, I am excited. Just because I get to go home tonight. I assume we’re going to make it out and get home. We’ve got snow and so the kids are already playing and tubing and doing sledding and stuff,” he said. “So being a husband and father, you never take a day off. You got to keep going. And so, as we move from one chapter to the next, it’s going to be different, but it’s going to be fun.”
“It’s going to be a new challenge, and I’m looking forward to it,” he added.
According to CBN News, Roethlisberger has only recently become outspoken about his Christian beliefs.
“Three years ago I got baptized,” Roethlisberger announced at a ManUp Conference in 2020. “I was baptized as a kid; my parents took me as a baby. But I didn’t make that decision. So three years ago now I made the decision to be baptized because I felt like I needed to do that. I wanted to have a closer walk, a better relationship with Jesus, with my wife, with my kids, with my family — become a better person.”
“So I think the person that brought me to Him was Jesus. Jesus is the One who brought me back to Him, and I’m so thankful for it because I feel I’m a better Christian, a better husband, and a better father today because of His forgiveness of me,” he told attendees.
Roethlisberger faced challenges before his baptism, namely sexual assault allegations, which the QB firmly denied and never faced criminal charges for.
Back in 2009, the NFL star was accused of sexual assault by a casino employee. The QB vehemently denied the allegation, which he called “false” and “vicious.” The accuser never filed a criminal charge but filed a civil lawsuit against Roethlisberger for nearly half a million dollars. The case was settled in 2012.
Roethlisberger was later accused of sexual assault by a 20-year-old woman in a night club. Due to lack of evidence, the QB was never charged.
Ben Roethlisberger addresses the media: pic.twitter.com/l3eeMO4MQY
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 17, 2022