An open letter to Titans fans regarding Isaiah Wilson

Isaiah Wilson was a first round draft pick for the Tennessee Titans and his tenure with them is already tumultuous.

We received and reviewed this IG post at approximately 6:00am this morning, in which Wilson writes:

“Honestly I hate life. Im f*cking up. Im making mistakes. Im not myself”

As a group, which was not unanimous, it was decided not to run with any of this information. Clearly, as it came to light throughout the day, via reporting of Buck Reising of AtoZSports, Wilson was arrested on charges of a DUI.

Of course, Titans fans have taken to social media with their proverbial torches, ready to abandon the rookie before he’s even played his first snap in the NFL.

There is certainly an argument and discussion to be had around Isaiah the football player and professional, but I wanted to address Isaiah Wilson the person first as this is a subject that is close to me personally.

Depression is like rot in the foundation of a house. It slowly eats away at everything that holds you in place. A constant battle within, people will only see and judge the reaction, but never take the time to understand what drove a man to lashing out. You don’t just wake up one day and say, “You know what, I’m not going to be depressed today.” The smallest thing could send you spiraling.

I made a lot of mistakes when I was young because of depression, I was reckless, I never truly felt like I fit in, and being as reactionary as I am, I would further isolate myself. I never felt like people cared or wanted to see me.

Ironically, that approach left me in a dark room, alone, with nothing but a voice bent on mentally torturing me with lies. As I grew into an adult, I found ways to fight it. Hanging out with friends, family, and pets was always a big help… a remedy that is hard to come by now-a-days given the pandemic.

Men’s mental health is something we as a society often overlook, especially when it’s someone who administers pain for a living. “Man up.” “Stop crying, you need to be a man.” We’re taught—and forced—to swallow our feelings and put on a face for the people in our life so as not to affect them.

That’s a different kind of pain. It’s something a lot of men are too familiar with but afraid to express, because no one wants to be called a “b*tch” or seen as less of a “man.” Men are statistically less likely to seek help because of social norms, reluctance to talk, and downplaying what is actually going on.

Dak Prescott has recently brought attention to this issue in the sports landscape with his statements concerning the loss of his brother. Skip Bayless had some incendiary comments on that, which I won’t condone by sharing here, and Stephen A Smith also shared his experiences with depression in a powerful monologue on Friday:

Isaiah Wilson is a kid, in a new city, taken in the first round by an NFL franchise with high expectations. You may want him “off the team,” but I would argue he needs support from this team and this city now more than ever. Let the kid learn, let him grow, and let him heal. Embrace him, Nashville. Remember that he’s a human being first and an athlete second.

I am not in any way condoning the actions of drunk driving. I am only speaking to the issues of mental health in sports and my personal experience with it. The views expressed above are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Broadway Sports as a whole.

Comments

    1. You need to edit your comment. Its implied he doesnt agree with his actions. No one does, the point of the article was to make irrational fans like yourself think about you cant possibly know what’s hes going through. Hes obviously been condemned enough for his actions and he knows hes in a dark place right now and he fucked up. If you were truly a fan you’d root for him to get whatever help and guidance he needs.

      1. Implied? Where? Driving while drunk is a BIG deal. When dealing with this matter you should never ”imply” the seriousness of it. If anything, not even mentioning it at all in this article implies that it is ok.

  1. How is assuming, not only, that he has a metal health disorder but diagnosing him from your armchair as suffering from depression, responsible journalism? A 21 year old kid who’s immature and has just been handed millions of dollars goes to party and gets a DUI, then regrets mistakes. Yeah that guy is clearly suffering from a mental illness, and isn’t just acting like millions of other 21 year olds.

    1. He didn’t diagnose him with depression. He merely spoke out of his own personal experience with depression to make a case for grace on his subject’s behalf. That’s responsible writing in this situation. He also didn’t claim it as journalism. He called it “an open letter”.

      Are you feeling hurt by this for some reason?

      I know it hurts me anytime I hear of someone drinking and driving. I lost two of my dear friends in childhood to a drunk driver’s tragic decision. Never understood it. And it still hurts. But I hope I can always still find compassion for another human who is struggling with tragic choices.

      Hoping the best for you and him both, Friend.

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