As the 2018 Hall of Fame ceremony draws closer, Soon to be inductee Brian Dawkins gave a revealing interview to NBC Sports. The legendary Philadelphia Eagles Safety told NBC Sports that he’s been dealing with depression the entire length of his 16-year career.
Dawkins says that a combination of on-field pressures, being a newlywed with a newborn baby and dealing with lifelong anger issues led him into a depressive state after he was drafted in 1996. The hard-hitting defensive back felt like he didn’t have anywhere to turn or anyone to go to deal with his issues.
“Overall, I didn’t have any outlets, and so I began to drink a little more than I needed to, and that quickly spiraled down into depression,” Dawkins said in the interview. “I went through a real dark, deep depression. Alcohol was a tremendous crutch. There were times I didn’t even want to be around my family, didn’t want to be around my son.”
Today, “Weapon X” has learned to control his depressive state through an increased faith in God and psychiatric help, but during his career, he admits that he had dark thoughts that would’ve left Brian Dawkins Jr. without a father.
“My faith back then wasn’t that strong, so I listened to the other voice in my head, and that’s where suicidal thoughts came in, and then actually planning out how I would go about it in such a way that Connie (his wife) and my son would get the money from my insurance policy,” Dawkins said.
The 3-year Denver Broncos safety was voted into the 2018 Football Hall of Fame in February. Dawkins will be inducted alongside former Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Randy Moss, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, former Eagles teammate Terrell Owens and others.
The full interview is scheduled to air on Wednesday night on NBC.