Former NFL Player Craig McEwen Opens Up About His Emotional Post-Retirement Struggle

Season 1 Episode 111
Aired on 03/04/2017 | CC tv-pg
Ever since a brain scan suggested Rodney could be affected by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), he has harbored real fears that the hits he took during his playing days are causing his body to deteriorate. To explore what's been going on, Rodney has agreed to be studied by the independent Football Players Health Study conducted by Harvard University. Believing strongly in the importance of this research, Holly and Rodney invite other former NFL players and their families to a mixer in the hopes of recruiting them to join the study as well.

At the mixer, a serious discussion ensues, and the admittedly hesitant players open up about their physical and emotional struggles in their post-NFL lives. One former player, Craig McEwen, speaks candidly during the exchange and offers encouraging words to the group. Later, Craig pulls Rodney aside and reveals a bit more of his personal experience with overwhelming depression.

"I've been there with a 9 mm against my chest once, so, 'cause I don't think I'm worth it and I'm not good enough," Craig says. "But that ain't the right solution 'cause I got a lot to offer."

Watch other players open up in the clip above. Plus, learn more about the study.

Original airdate: March 4, 2017

If you or someone you know needs help, call 800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text "CONNECT" to 741741 to reach counselors from the Crisis Text Line.