Eddie George admits fighting many demons in post-NFL life
It’s no secret, for most NFL players, life after football is tough.
They live privileged lives in a world filled with pride and money, but often struggle to adapt to "real life" when their careers abruptly end.
Eddie George is one of those players.
The Ohio State legend and former Titans running back recently opened up about his struggles after retirement, admitting that he fights a "daily battle" with depression. He hopes that sharing his story will help people understand the difficult process for pro athletes when they leave the game.
"The way my career ended had an impact on me the first few years because I had no idea what to do next," George told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. "I was fighting demons and trying to get a peace of mind that did damage to me and my family, my wife. Hanging out and chasing (women) and all the wrong things. All the things that served me as a player didn’t serve me as a man who’s 36, 37 years old trying to redefine himself. Something had to change in me."
A Heisman Trophy Winner with the Buckeyes who went on to have great success in the NFL, says that when his career ended, he felt empty inside and wondered about his purpose in life.
"There wasn’t that instant success on the football field, where you worked hard all week and you have a victory and a great game on Sunday." George said.
With no daily schedule or set routine, many former players struggle to manage their free time, leading them down a path of destruction.
"I can certainly see where guys who don’t have the proper guidance or right mindset can take that turn for the worst."
While he’s persevered through the hard times and landed on solid ground, George said "coping is still a daily battle." He hopes that his story, which will be featured Thursday night on Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports, will educate and inspire others.
"Some of the things you have to go through to find your next life purpose can be daunting, it can be intimidating and it can be exciting, but it’s a process you have to go through to get there. That’s what I want people to know: It is difficult but you do it with diligence, with patience, with love and persistence."