Veteran Canadian linebacker Chris Ackie has decided to retire from the Canadian Football League, per sources.
The 31-year-old was scheduled to earn over $150,000 in the final year of his contract with the Montreal Alouettes during the 2023 season.
Ackie released a statement on social media confirming his decision to step away from football:
This will come as a shock to many: I’m officially retiring from the CFL. It definitely was not an easy decision, although I think it’s the right time to step away. I’ve been playing this game for 20 years, eight of those professionally and it has truly changed my life. I can honestly say I lived out my childhood dreams.
Thank you to my family and friends who have been so supportive throughout my entire life, I wouldn’t be here without y’all. From drives to practice as a kid to calls after games win or lose just to chat, I appreciate everything.
I’m truly grateful for all the fans who have been supporting me over the years. Whether that was in person, sending me a message online or a letter to the locker room, thank you so much. This game means nothing without y’all.
To my coaches, training staff and front office staff: thank you for giving me an opportunity. I’ve been fortunate to work with some great people at all levels of my career.
To my teammates! It’s been an honour to be out there with y’all. From strangers to family, thank you so much for a lifetime of memories.
Thank you to everyone for all the memories, support and friendships. It’s been an honour to play this game and live out my dreams. Looking forward to the next chapter in my life.
The Cambridge, Ont. native was selected in the first round, fourth overall during the 2015 CFL Draft by the Als. He was an ultra-athletic defender who shot up prospect rankings with an explosive performance at the three-down league’s national combine. Ackie recorded a 4.67 forty-yard time, 7.09 three-cone, 40-inch vertical, and 10-foot, 11-and-a-half-inch broad jump.
The six-foot, 226-pound defender played 92 games over seven seasons for the Als and Ottawa Redblacks while making 226 defensive tackles, 25 special teams tackles, eight sacks, five interceptions, four forced fumbles, and scoring one defensive touchdown. His best year in the three-down league came in 2021 when he made 48 tackles, six sacks and two interceptions in 14 games.
Ackie played four seasons with Wilfrid Laurier University. In his final year with the Golden Hawks in 2014, he recorded 48.5 tackles in eight regular season games along with three pass knockdowns, one interception, and one sack. He was a first-team All-Canadian selection.
Losing Ackie is a major blow to the Alouettes’ national depth with him being a standout special teams player and high-end Canadian starter. He was a strong voice in the locker room as one of the Als’ representatives in the Canadian Football League Players’ Association.