The untimely death of 25-year-old former NFL player Adrian Robinson was announced on Sunday May 17th and at the time, his cause of death was unknown. It is now being reported that Robinson’s death has been ruled a suicide by hanging.
Robinson had just signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. He played 12 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012 and in 2013, moved to the Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers and the Washington Redskins. By any standard, Robinson was accomplished and had a promising career ahead of him. Robinson left behind his daughter, Avery Marie.
There’s no confirmation that Robinson was depressed, but suicide typically indicates some level of mental illness.
It’s amazing that you can read about someone’s success on paper, but have no clue what torment they’re going through on the inside. According to Black Doctor, over 5 million in the U.S. experience depression every year. While there are many palpable signs that lead to the discovery of your own depression, many Black people, especially men are guilty of internalizing their pain, self-medicating and/or using religion as a coping mechanism, which causes it to eat away at us more than it helps to cease the sadness. We need more than that.
Mental illness is scary, especially to Black folks, but it’s real. We’re all so used to being “fine” or “good,” even though many of us are screaming on the inside for some sort of relief.
Research proves that men learn to be silent and strong, therefore they vary rarely express when they need help. Whether their problem is minimal or monumental, they’d rather see if they could solve it themselves or just deal with it. Hard-working men are often at the top of the list for depression. When there is always work to be done, there is little time left for self-care.
Depression isn’t self-pity. It’s not just being sad. It’s a mental illness that affects someone’s mind–their power to make choices, to move, to act, to sleep, to speak. There have been no reports about Robinson’s mental health, but suicide proves that the victim was suffering alone and in silence.
Always reach out to your loved ones and truly check in on their mental health. Even if it’s only offering a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, offer it. You never know what someone is suffering through.
There is a GoFundMe campaign for Robinson’s daughter, Avery Marie if you would like to donate.