Khari Willis, 26, is retiring from the NFL to pursue advancing the “Gospel of Jesus Christ.” The Colts’ safety of 4 years has decided to hang up his helmet for the remainder of his life in a stunning decision.
Yesterday, Khari Willis posted the breaking news to his Instagram account. In his post, he said the following:
“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 that I’ve learned in this phase of my life will be valuable for me in my next chapter. With much prayer and deliberation, I have eleted 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 all for your support over the years… God Bless”
The fact that Khari Willis is leaving a $2.54 million base salary on the table for 2022 leaves no one in doubt of his conviction to follow the Lord’s calling on his life. In the four years prior, he made around $2.6 million, including his sign-on bonuses.
Believe it opens $2.54 million, which would have been Willis's base salary this season.
Underscores the conviction of Willis's decision to go into ministry.
His 2022 base salary was more than his first 3 base salaries combined, and obviously he was on the cusp of a 2nd deal. https://t.co/5KoroH4o66
— Joel A. Erickson (@JoelAErickson) June 15, 2022
Colts coach Frank Reich had nothing but good things to say about the former safety. In a statement, the coach mentioned Khari’s character, leadership, and professionalism. Reich said that he “admires and respects his decision to transition into the next stage of his life and ministry.”
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Willis was a fourth-round pick in 2019 and had a great run with the Colts. He leaves a record of 219 tackles and four interceptions while starting 33 out of the 39 games he played.
In a time when big money is so alluring, it’s refreshing to see Willis decide to give it up to follow what he feels the Lord has told him to do.
In football, it was Khari’s job to be the last defense. His job as safety was to protect the attacking team and prevent them from scoring. Every game he played saw him face off against other men who would do anything in their power to trick him, run faster than him, or push him to the ground.
We live in a time when Christianity and the message of Jesus Christ are under attack. As Willis mentioned in his Instagram post, he has learned much from his NFL experience. May God bless and give him strength as he will face similar opposition in ministry.
Khari Willis’s journey reminds me of another great man of God. His name was C.T. Studd.
C. T. Studd was recognized as an outstanding cricketer representing Cambridge University. But after receiving the Lord as his savior, his life changed.
Studd continued from Eton to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1883. In 1884 after his brother George was taken seriously ill Charles was confronted by the question, “What is all the fame and flattery worth … when a man comes to face eternity?” He had to admit that since his conversion six years earlier he had been in “an unhappy backslidden state”. As a result of the experience he said, “I know that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worthwhile living for the world to come.