Answering the call: why I am retiring at the age of 25

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

When you hear something calling your name and don’t act on it, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

I’ve played football since I was ten years old. I still have a lot of passion for the game that’s taught me so much. Football is one of life’s greatest teachers. Teamwork, discipline, drive, determination — football has so many valuable lessons.

Ever since the pandemic started, I’ve been thinking a lot about life after football. At 25, I hope to have a lot of years still ahead of me and do a lot of good in this world.

Many of the skills that football teaches you can also be applied to law enforcement.

There’s a lot of anti-cop sentiment in the world right now and I’m not denying that there are some bad apples out there. That doesn’t change the fact that the police have the power to help people every day, which is something I want to do.

I think being a police officer is one of the most noble jobs there is. When most people hear gunshots, they run away. Police officers run toward the danger, putting themselves at risk to try to protect members of the public.

I admire the selflessness of law enforcement professionals. They are always encountering people on their worst days, yet they seek to help and comfort them. That’s something I want to do — be part of a community that I can help serve and protect.

It is for that reason that I am announcing my retirement from professional football.

Law enforcement isn’t something I can wait to pursue. A damaged knee or a bad concussion could potentially disqualify me from becoming a police officer in my home province of Ontario. As much as I love football, that’s not a chance I’m willing to take.

I lived my dream of becoming a professional football player and I still have my health. I can hear law enforcement knocking at my door. I’m choosing to answer that call now, rather than waiting until it could be too late.

I understand that people might think I’m crazy for giving up something that so many people want. Being a professional athlete is something millions of kids grow up dreaming about, yet so few are lucky enough to achieve.

For me, I’m ready to move on. I’ve achieved one dream — now it’s time to pursue another.

I want to thank the Montreal Alouettes, my coaches, the fans and my agent, Ray Haija, for all of their support. I would also like to thank my family for all of the sacrifices they have made over the years. You all mean the world to me.

If you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Those are words I plan to live by as I move on to the next chapter of my life.

Trey Rutherford was the No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 CFL Draft. He played two seasons with the Montreal Alouettes before announcing his retirement at the age of 25.