NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Antoine Bethea, a 14-year NFL veteran and Newport News native, has officially retired from the National Football League.
Bethea was drafted by the Colts in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft and went on to play for Indianapolis for eight seasons, the San Francisco 49ers for three seasons, the Arizona Cardinals for two seasons and the New York Giants during the 2019 season.
The Denbigh High grad has over 1,000 career tackles and 24 career interceptions, along with being a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He also won Super Bowl XLI with the Colts.
Bethea released a statement about his retirement on his social media platforms:
"I played a child's game for 27 years, 14 of them professionally. I always knew this day would come, and now it is here. I am reminded of the beginning of my NFL career when I got that phone call from Bill Polian, the then President of the Indianapolis Colts. I remember then speaking with Tony Dungy, excited to begin my career as a Colt. I would be remiss if I did not mention the Irsay family and the love they showed. I will never forget Indianapolis, nor the way its community and people embraced me. I am forever grateful and blessed to have had the experiences I did. From a Super Bowl win to a Super Bowl loss and a 2-14 season.
"Thank you to the York Family, the San Francisco 49ers, and the 9ers Faithful. I would also like to say thank you to the Bidwells and the Arizona Cardinals. Finally, to the Mara & Tisch Family and the NY Giants, Thank you, once a Giant, always a Giant. To everyone I met along the way, the coaching staff, training staff, equipment staff, and PR team, I would not have been able to go on this ride without you.
"My mother, father, and brother provided unwavering love and support from day one and throughout my career. My wife, bein gmy best friend, was a sounding board through it all. Lifelong friends and family showed up in every city cheering me on! To all of them, I owe the utmost gratitude. I will miss the locker room camaraderie with my teammates, the daily preparation, and most of all, running out of that tunnel and competing every Sunday. I put the work in, I have no regrets, and this game owes me nothing.
"From Newport News to Howard University, and a 6th Round Draft Pick, to a 14-year career, I have and always will live by my mantra "Bet On Yourself"!"