Ben Roethlisberger makes retirement official

·2 min read

Big Ben has called it a career.

The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback and longtime leader of the Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Thursday he is cleaning out his locker, hanging up his cleats and retiring from football.

“I don’t know how to put into words what the game of football has meant to me. And what a blessing it has been,” Ben Roethlisberger said in a farewell video posted to his social media accounts. “Well, I know with confidence I have given 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 and Miami University, blessed with the honor of 18 seasons as a Pittsburgh Steelers and a place to call home,” he continued. “The journey has been exhilarating to find by relationships and fueled by a spirit of competition.”

The decision, Roethlisberger said, gives him more time to be a family man to his wife and three children.

Roethlisberger, 39, has been in the NFL since 2004 when he made his debut with the Steelers, finishing with All-Rookie Team honors and his first playoff trip that season. Roethlisberger’s Steelers have gone back to the playoffs 12 times in his career with two Super Bowl championships won after the 2005 and 2008 seasons.

In 2019, former Steeler Rashard Mendenhall called Roethlisberger a racist quarterback on Twitter, a comment he walked back not long after posting the message.

Roethlisberger’s 2019 campaign was also cut short after he suffered a season-ending elbow injury in just the second game of the year.

In what we now know was his final playoff game (Jan. 16, 2022), Roethlisberger and the Steelers — who finished 9-7-1 this regular season — were obliterated by Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City, 42-21, in the Wild Card round.

Despite his on field accomplishments and longevity, his career was tainted by off field indiscretions.

In 2009 and 2010, two women in Nevada and Georgia accused Roethlisberger of sexual assault and rape. Though the quarterback was ultimately not charged in either case, he was suspended the first four games of the 2010 season for the Georgia incident. He later settled a civil lawsuit with the Lake Tahoe woman.