B.C. Lions Canadian linebacker Mitch Barnett retires from pro football

Photo courtesy: Jeff Vinnick/BC Lions

B.C. Lions Canadian linebacker Mitch Barnett has announced his retirement from professional football.

“It’s a tough decision to move on, but I’m ready for what’s next. It was outstanding to live out my childhood dream of playing football and I’m honoured to say I finished my career as a Lion,” Barnett said in a statement. 

The North Vancouver native joined his hometown Lions as a free agent in 2018 following two years as a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He was an integral part of the special teams unit, registering nine tackles in his first season in orange.

Following his high school playing days at Handsworth Secondary, Barnett suited up at Simon Fraser University for his first two seasons of collegiate eligibility. He then transferred to the University of British Columbia for his junior and senior seasons. Barnett helped the Thunderbirds capture the 2015 Vanier Cup. The Ticats selected him in round seven, 59th overall during the 2016 CFL Draft.

“Mitch was a great pro with us on and off the field,” Lions co-general manager and director of football operations Neil McEvoy said in a statement. 

“We wish him the best of luck in his next chapter in life and look forward to him being a big part of our local Lions alumni that support us at BC Place and other club events.”