Today Canadian Football League (CFL) all-star and two time Grey Cup Champion Shea Emry announces his retirement. Throughout his eight-year career, Emry has earned a reputation as a tough middle linebacker. In his time with the CFL, Emry played for three teams including six years with the Montreal Alouettes, one year with the Toronto Argonauts, and most recently in the 2015 season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
‘I am sincerely grateful for my time in the CFL,’ stated Emry. ‘I want to thank the teammates, coaches, and support staff I’ve had the honour of working alongside throughout my career. I have fulfilled a childhood dream by being able to play in the CFL for a living. And I look forward to fulfilling more dreams and adventures in this next chapter of my career.’
On and off the field Emry is regarded as a role model. A first round draft pick in 2008, he worked as a relentless defensive player, voted by his peers as the “CFL’s Nastiest Player”. He faced a series of concussions and struggles that reignited a childhood trauma that left him searching for identity and purpose outside the lines of the football field. After reaching a mental and professional tipping point, Emry dove deep into personal betterment and intuitively designed his own rehabilitation program, allowing him regain his professional and personal flow. Off the field Emry focused on a wellness regime that included yoga, nature immersion, mindfulness and talk therapy. Through this work and the support of trusted advisors, Emry reached new heights in his CFL career, including a nomination as Outstanding Canadian and Outstanding Defensive Player the following season.
In the years that followed he began sharing his story publicly, including an impassioned and widely shared TEDx talk about toxic silence of manliness. Furthering his platform from professional sport, Emry founded Wellmen, a highly publicized venture that is leading a movement that zeros in on redefining what is “manly”.
Emry now takes his story across the country through various speaking engagements and ambassadorships. Emry has worked as Bell’s Let’s Talk Day ambassador since 2012 and Champion of Movember Canada’s Men’s Mental Health campaign. In 2013 he was awarded the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Trophy in recognition of his advocacy and leadership in the space.