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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans wide receiver AJ Brown shared a powerful message about depression and suicide on social media on Friday.
Brown said in the message that he had thoughts of taking his life last year. He felt that he didn’t have hope for better days and believed everything was going wrong for him.
The 24-year-old receiver spoke to the media on Thursday to follow up on his message.
“I posted the video because I wanted to encourage others to seek help whenever they are down,” Brown said. “I didn’t take into consideration what depression really was. I grew [up] just brushing off my feelings, and this got the best of me. I just wanted to put out a positive message that I’m still here, I’m growing, I’m blessed and have a lot to be thankful for.”
Brown pointed to New York Jets receiver Elijah Moore as a key person who was there for him during dark times. The two were teammates at the University of Mississippi.
In addition to family, Brown thanked Titans coach Mike Vrabel for having his door open to players to talk about anything.
“I appreciate AJ [Brown]’s courage,” Vrabel said on Monday. “It is our job, it is part of our job to make sure that they can deal with the stresses of life, the stresses of professional football, the strain it sometimes puts on their family. If you are willing to ask someone how they are doing, be willing to sit there and listen to them. Don’t make it a fly-by.”
Brown wouldn’t go into detail about what caused him to be in a dark place. But the presence of his daughter — who was born on April 28, 2020 — has helped him daily.
Although Brown said he’s in a much better place now, he still speaks to a therapist to maintain his mental health.
“Us as men, our feelings aren’t too much cared about,” Brown said. “Get things off your chest. It’s OK to talk to someone. Seek help. You have to take care of your brain just like you take care of your body.”