Paul Rabil retires as PLL player after 14-year career originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
After taking the sport of lacrosse to new heights both on and off the field, Paul Rabil announced on Tuesday his retirement to focus more on his role as co-founder of the Premier Lacrosse League.
“I say this with unending gratitude and the heaviest of hearts, my time has come. After 23 years of playing this beautiful game, I’ve decided to retire,” said Rabil in a news release.
Rabil, a DeMatha Catholic product, won two NCAA titles at Johns Hopkins, three Major League Lacrosse titles, an indoor title with NLL's Washington Stealth, and two Team USA gold medals before upstarting a new, tour-based league in 2018 called the PLL. He re-took sole possession of first place atop the all-time pro field lacrosse points leaderboard in July with expansion club, Cannons LC.
Through ground-breaking sponsorship deals and widespread media attention, Rabil became the face of the sport over the past decade. Deals with Red Bull, Under Armour, Chevrolet, New Balance, GoPro, and others allowed Bloomberg to name Rabil as "Lacrosse's Million Dollar Man" in 2013.
“Lacrosse was my first love, yet being here today has everything to do with those who’ve supported me along the way. Without my family and loved ones, every coach and teammate, strength coach, athletic trainer, and doctor, our investors, my colleagues and mentors...without you, there are no championships, no season-ending defeats, no lifelong memories, and no Premier Lacrosse League,” said Rabil.
With the promise of creating a league with higher play for its players and better exposure for its fans through a top-notch social media team and broadcast partner NBC Universal, Rabil co-founded the PLL with his brother, Mike, after 11 years playing in the MLL. Rabil was inducted into the Washington D.C. Sports Hall of Fame on Sept. 7.
Five days before the PLL is slated to crown its champion at Audi Field, Rabil's announcement comes marks the end of an era. Kyle Harrison, as well as John Galloway and Joel White, also announced their retirements this season to end one of the greatest generations the sport has produced.