Indianapolis Colt Khari Willis retires at 26-years-old to pursue ministry work

Indianapolis Colts safety Khari Willis announced in a statement released on Wednesday that he is retiring from the NFL after playing for three seasons.

Willis is walking away from millions of dollars to work to “further advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Willis’s decision shocked fans around the nation and his selfless decision certainly is unusual in today’s culture.

Willis began his announcement by saying, “I’d first like to thank the Indianapolis Colts organization for granting me the opportunity to compete in the National Football League the past three years. I’ve built lifelong relationships with numerous teammates, coaches and support staff that have impacted me greatly. The lessons I’ve learned in this phase of my life will be valuable for me in my next chapter.”

Willis was a key part of the Colt’s defense as he made an impact right out of the gate in his rookie year.

Willis recorded 219 tackles and four interceptions while starting 33 out of the 39 games he played in after being selected in the 4th round of the 2019 NFL draft.

His future was looking bright in the NFL and he could have continued to be a force on the Colt’s defense for years to come.

Willis’s statement continued by saying, “With much prayer and deliberation, I have elected to officially retire from the NFL as I endeavor to devote the remainder of my life to the further advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I thank all of my family, friends and those who have supported me on this journey thus far and I look forward to your continued support through the next phase of my life. I am both humbled and excited to pursue the holy call that God has for my life which brings me much joy and purpose. Thank you for all your support over the years.”

Colts Head Coach Frank Reich responded to the announcement by saying, “We’re thankful and appreciative of Khari’s contributions to the Colts both on and off the field over the last three seasons. Khari’s character, leadership and professionalism will be missed in our locker room as well his play on Sundays. I admire and respect his decision to transition into the next stage of his life and ministry and my prayers will always be with him.”

Willis’s decision is admirable and increasingly rare in a culture that often doesn’t reward selfless behavior like that exhibited by Willis.