Ryan Shazier Addresses the Media Following Retirement Announcement


Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Ryan Shazier looks on before a Steelers preseason game against the Carolina Panthers in August 2018.

This morning former Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier announced that he is retiring from the game of football via a video message posted to his Twitter account.

Ryan Shazier’s Retirement Press Conference

Hours later the 28-year-old former Ohio State Buckeye went on to address the media to further discuss his decision. Head coach Mike Tomlin, inside linebacker Vince Williams and general manager Kevin Colbert all made cameo appearances during the Zoom call to express their love and admiration for Shazier and to wish him well in his future endeavors.

Shazier started by saying that things haven’t been easy since he suffered his spinal cord injury against the Cincinnati Bengals in December 2017. But he feels it’s the appropriate time to step away from the game of football.

“I feel right now is the best time to move forward and focus on the next steps in my life,” he said. “I’m just truly excited about the future. I’m excited about retirement. It’s a little bit bittersweet because I never expected it to end so soon. I didn’t think I would be retiring at 28 years old.”

Yet it’s not as if he feels like his rehabilitation from the injury has plateaued.

“My rehab is still getting better, I just feel like God has another plan for me,” he said, also noting that he doesn’t harbor any anger towards the game of football and that he will let his sons play football if it turns out they enjoy the game.

Ryan Shazier’s Future Plans

Going forward Shazier said he plans to do an NFL-related podcast on Spotify, which will go live on Tuesdays. Morever, he expects to pursue business ventures and to further develop his foundation—the Shalieve Fight Foundation—which he founded last year.

Shazier was also asked if he would consider pursuing a career in coaching, especially in light of how he spent significant time last season tutoring first-round draft pick Devin Bush.

“I’m not going to ever cancel out me returning to the game as a coach,” he said, noting that COVID-19 has prevented him from being around the team as much as he would like.

Finally, Shazier also confirmed that his house in Pittsburgh is for sale but that he’s not leaving town, just looking to downsize a little bit.

Last but not least, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert put the wraps on the virtual press conference in the best way possible, saying: “I just want you to know, you can retire from the game of football, but you’re never going to retire from being a Pittsburgh Steeler. And thank you for sharing your life and your career with us and all the best to you, Michelle and the boys.”

Watch a replay of the press conference in its entirety here:

In recent weeks Shazier has been helping to promote a new documentary short directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite titled “Every Game is a Home Game,” which profiles two longtime Pittsburgh Steelers fans and chronicles the adversity they have faced in recent years.

Watch “Every Game is a Home Game” below:

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