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Friday, November 26, 2021

‘When I was playing, no one really talked about mental health.’

What happened after leaving the NFL in 2015?

I went back to school to get my degree. I spent the next several years doing internships at various locations in real estate and finance. But while building and maintaining a relationship has been really challenging when you’re dealing with a chronic issue like depression or potentially CTE, you tend to be more unhappy, which can make it challenging. I would say that over the last six years, this has really been the biggest disappointment for me, the inability to pursue a second career because I’ve tried.

Do you follow football?

I still enjoy the game. For me my relationship with football was overall positive. It landed me in a great school, paid for my education, and gave me the opportunity to play professionally, a high draft pick and the benefits that go with it. Then obviously I had some consequences and complications while playing. The way I see it, I play football, so hopefully my kids don’t have to.

What was your reaction to Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles?

It felt so powerful to see people at the top of their game and people standing at the top of their game, especially people of color.

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I don’t think people fully realize it’s still a 22, 23, 24 year old guy showing up to work and they just happen to be an athletic freak who would be great at what they do Is. And they have the same thoughts, feelings and emotions as every fan, which puts a lot of weight on your psyche. For example, dropping two sacks on “Monday Night Football” and so on by the time you turn 24 takes a toll on your mental health.

Why do you think you might have CTE?

I don’t know if I have CTE, but I doubt it. I know I have a traumatic brain injury.

I think more people than people will admit to dealing with some symptoms of CTE privately, but few will admit it publicly, partly out of stigma and partly simply because they don’t deal with attention. want. But most people when you’re playing, you know it’s not great for you. It’s probably not good for your brain.

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