NFL: Tennessee Titans WR A.J. Brown opens up about battle with depression
- A.J. Brown was enjoying his best NFL season in 2020
- But during the time Brown said he though of killing himself
- Brown also said he encouraged people to ask for help
While he was enjoying the best NFL season of his life in 2020 and earned his first Pro Bowl honour, Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown on Thursday opened up about how he was battling hard with depression and even thought of killing himself.
He shared a video on social media on November 12, marking the one-year anniversary of that dark time, encouraging people to ask for help, and clarified why he finally decided to speak up.
"It was a dark moment, and it was a year ago where I had thought about taking my life, you know? And it was special to me because it just came with my heart that I wanted to share with others and help others so much as I can," Brown said of sharing his own struggle, the Associated Press reported.
Although the Mississippi-born Brown didn't share what led to his depression, those feelings wound up almost overwhelming him. Brown said he thought long and hard about posting the video he recorded earlier. He was nervous about whether he should share his personal struggle with the world. Brown described what gave him the courage to do it.
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"I just wanted to put out a positive message that I’m still here," Brown said. "I’m still growing. I’m still learning. I’m blessed. I’ve got a lot of things to be grateful for and someone was there for me. So reach out to your loved ones and ask them how they’re doing and listen to them, you know, because it’s important."
Following the release of the video, the response to Brown's video has been very positive. "You need to look out for one another," Brown said. "I know we play this beautiful game, but you know, life is beautiful."
Currently, the receiver currently leads the Titans with 41 catches for 567 yards and three touchdowns.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Monday he appreciates Brown's courage in speaking up about mental health. The coach focuses regularly on the mental health of the Titans and said he is glad they've been able to provide a safe space for people dealing with the strain that being in the NFL can put on professional athletes.
With inputs from the Associated Press