A top American football player has announced he’s retiring from the country's National Football League (NFL) at the age of 26 to follow a religious calling.
Khari Willis, who has played for Indianapolis Colts for the last three years, says he wants to devote the rest of his life to ‘the further advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In a post on Instagram he said: "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 in this phase of my life will be valuable for me in my next chapter.
"With much prayer and deliberation, I have elected to officially retire from the NFL as I endeavour 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."
Indianapolis Colts compete in the NFL as a member club of the league's American Football Conference South division.
Willis signed a four year $3 million contract with the club in 2019 and was given a signing bonus of over $750,000.
The club's head coach Frank Reich said: "We're thankful and appreciative of Khari's contributions to the Colts both on and off the field over the last three seasons. Khari's character, leadership, and professionalism will be missed in our locker room as will his play on Sundays.
"I admire and respect his decision to transition into the next stage of his life and ministry and my prayers will always be with him."