Sunny Side of The Stream: NFL Player Jason Kelce Highlights Family, the Significance of Fathers in Retirement Speech

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on March 9, 2024

Jason Kelce, age 36, gave a teary speech announcing his retirement from the Philadelphia Eagles after 13 years. In one two-minute clip, he poignantly highlighted the beauty and wholesomeness of marriage, family, and fatherhood.

Kelce vividly described how he met his wife while playing for the Eagles:

I won’t forget the Eagles Christmas party in 2014, and heading out afterwards with a bunch of teammates to Buffalo Billiards where my life would change forever. That night I’d meet my future wife. I still remember the moment she walked through the door. The first instance is burned in my retina.

Kelce picked up a rag and wiped his tears before continuing:

It was like she glided through the opening. An aura around her. Then she started talking. And I thought, “Man, is this what love feels like?” She was beautiful and smart, serious, yet playful. I knew it right away.

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Kelce then discussed the goodness his wife has brought to his life, highlighting how she not only supported him towards a more successful career, but also gave him a family life that means more than that career:

I think it’s no coincidence I have enjoyed my best years of my career with Kylie by my side. Every accolade I have ever received has come with her in my life. She has brought the best out of me through love, devotion, support, honesty, intelligence, and of course, a swift kick in the a** from time to time. She has also given me three beautiful girls and a life that increasingly brings me more fulfillment off the field than it does on. We’ve had a great run, Ky.


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A post shared by Kylie (McDevitt) Kelce (@kykelce)

The father of three little girls then made a strong statement about the significance of fathers within society:

I am a product of my upbringing. I think one of the best things a person can be in this world is a father. A father who is present, loving, devoted just may be the greatest gift a child could ask for in our society.

He then highlighted the positive influence of his own father:

And I have a d*** good one. My father believed in me more than anyone. He believed in my brother. And whenever my own insecurities would arise or self-doubt would come in, he would stifle them with the warm embrace of belief — unwavering love and belief.

Kelce’s wife Kylie, brother Travis of the Kansas City Chiefs, and parents Ed and Donna looked on as he delivered the 39-minute speech, The Daily Mail reported. Travis, wearing sunglasses, cried as he listened.


Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow her on X @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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