REGINA — CFL All-Star and two-time Grey Cup Champion Shea Emry announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending an eight-year CFL career spent with the Montreal Alouettes, Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Emry steps away from the game to pursue men’s health advocacy and a new outdoor adventure club as he works with Wellmen, a movement founded by him, to enrich the lives of men through radical experiences that propel them on physical, emotional and soulful excursions.
“I am sincerely grateful for my time in the CFL,” added Emry, who earned a reputation as a tough middle linebacker through eight CFL seasons. “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,” he added. “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.
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.
Today, with a successful CFL career behind him, Emry will continue to speak and further the movement he has created as the founder of Wellmen. From athletic endeavors to the high-pressure corporate careers, men live in a culture of expressional silence. Wellmen works to enrich the lives of men through radical experiences that propel them on physical, emotional and soulful excursions. Through adventure driven activities that included yoga, logger sports, stand up paddling, and mountain biking, Emry is championing a new era of innovative men’s health advocacy.