Sadly, this becoming pretty common these days. All of us remember the shock when former USC star Kenny McKinley shot and killed himself in 2010. A few weeks ago former Falcons defensive back Ray Easterling committed suicide. Former Bear Dave Duerson also recently committed suicide.
Shortly after McKinley’s death I wrote this:
Great athletes are never as great as we want them to be. They aren’t immortal the way we wish they were. (McKinley’s) death reminds us that mental illness is an issue that too often goes unnoticed or undetected.
Yet the trend continues. It is time for the NFL to start making sure it’s players are not only taken care of physically, but mentally as well. There is a stigma that follows depression. It is viewed by almost all of us as a weakness. It is hard for anyone, especially someone who makes his money playing a violent game, to acknowledge or share anything that can be viewed as a weakness. The fact is depression shouldn’t carry any more stigma than a torn ACL. Neither one are the player’s fault. The only difference is one gets treated right away to get the player back on the field and the other gets ignored with often tragic results.
We have to change this in sports and life.
Learn more about depression here. It could save a life, maybe even yours.