Former Miami quarterback and Alabama A&M commit Jarren Williams has announced that he is retiring from football.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Williams detailed how prioritizing his “mental health and happiness” was what motivated him to make this decision.
“After my last concussion I slipped into another depression and I couldn’t shake how I was feeling inside,” said Williams.
He continued: “I started boxing myself in away from my friends, family and teammates unable to connect with anyone and being a leader of a team. I knew I couldn’t be this way.”
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Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders offered his support in response to Williams’ post simply saying “Pray for the young man.”
According to a study conducted by NCAA Sports Science Institute, 1 in 4 student-athletes report being exhausted from the mental demands of their sport.
In recent years, there have seen many athletes on the professional and collegiate level speak out about their struggles with mental health.
NFL running back and North Carolina A&T alum Tarik Cohen penned an open letter to his younger self in which he detailed struggles he has faced providing for his family, the death of his brother and recovering from a serious ACL injury.
Other current and former professional athletes such as Naomi Osaka, Demar DeRozan, Michael Phelps, and Dak Prescott among others have shared stories of mental health struggles.
Williams’ story is yet another reminder that we must be mindful of how we speak about athletes at all levels and in all sports because we never know what they are going through away from their field of play.
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