11/21/2021 “Life Happens To Everyone. I’m Human Just Like Everyone Else”

Titans WR A.J. Brown is a hero!

At a time when many athletes are predominantly sharing a diagnosis, followed by an endorsement deal in the MH space, Brown took a diff & genuine approach, hoping to help others. 

Brown shared abt a difficult day in November of 2020, when he experienced suicidal thoughts. That day, he somehow still played in a game against the Colts. But, he caught only one pass for 21 yds. Each of his 5 previous games, he’d caught at least 4, & twice topped 100 receiving yds. In the 7 games that followed, he caught at least 4 passes each time out. He finished the season as a Pro Bowler. 

Does it sound like that specific day in Nov. impacted his performance? That there are more explanations for a “bad game” than a physical injury or just “not playing well”?

Brown recently shared: “Life happens to everyone. I’m human just like everyone else. Just bc I play this beautiful game doesn’t mean life isn’t going to happen to me too.” 

Sound like a “5in5” msg as opposed to putting himself in a specific disorder bucket, alone?

He gave some bkgrnd as well: “Growing up, I just kind of brushed off my feelings, & buried them. You don’t need to do that. You need to get things off your chest & talk to someone.”

He talked abt those who helped him: His former Ole Miss teammate & current Jets rookie WR Elijah Moore was who he confided in that day & who pulled him to safety. 

Upon sharing openly this wk, Brown talked abt the support he’s gotten: “A lot of guys on my team have sat down & talked to me 1-on-1 abt their own struggles, which we need to do more often.”

In talking abt his head coach, Mike Vrabel’s reaction, he added: “Man, I appreciate him so much. I think forever I’ll be a friend of his & he’ll be a friend of mine. I appreciate him so much for just opening his door, just listening & trying to help me as much as (he) can. It doesn’t go unnoticed w me. He’s definitely family in my book.”

Brown shared: a history of not opening up leading to a breakdown w suicidal thoughts…a willingness to ask help of friends/now open his own door to teammates…& how he’s human like everyone else. This is how advocacy is done!

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