Depression was taboo in America for generations. Perhaps no place more than a locker room is the disease regarded as a pariah. An article by Jim Trotter published today attempts to shed life on the issue amongst NFL players. At the center of the piece is former Saints tight end Eddie “Boo” Williams.
In the piece, Williams discusses how his depression got so severe that he nearly committed suicide. Trotter reports, "During most of his four-year NFL career with the New Orleans Saints, tight end Eddie 'Boo' Williams took the same route to work. He'd head down Airline Drive to Stable Drive, then make a looping left and follow the road to the training facility. In 2010, five years after his career ended, Williams found himself retracing that path on a sweltering summer afternoon. Only this time he turned right instead of left and wound up at a series of train tracks, where for two days he slept in a cement alcove that shimmied as boxcars passed overhead.”
The article explains that on the third day Williams simply gave up and laid down on the track. He credits a homeless couple for finding him and saving his life.
In particularly moving passage from the writeup, Trotter and Williams return to the tracks behind the training facility. In the article, he says, ”It’s painful. It’s a place where I never thought I would be, a place where I never thought somebody such as myself would try to hurt himself. It brings back so many memories of where I was in that time of my life, and I never want to go back again."
Williams now uses his experience to help others. He works as a speaker and counselor.