The help was there, and offered.
But apparently Titus Young didn’t want it.
The former Lions wide receiver, who remains in a California jail after a recent string of arrests, apparently made it clear to the league that he wasn’t interested in assistance 18 months ago, before his troubles came to a head.
NFL director of player engagement Troy Vincent told Eric Adelson of Yahoo! Sports that his department tried “multiple times” to offer counseling, after someone close to him called them, expressing worry.
“It was someone very, very close to him who was just concerned – really concerned,” Vincent said. “Once we got the call, we sent someone out to meet with him. . . .
“We were told he was not interested in support. We went to people very close to his center of influence, to reach out to see how we can support him. The response was of someone who is not open arms to being supported.”
Young’s agent didn’t comment on the report. The Lions washed their hands of Young after a tumultuous two years, though teammates have continued to try to support him.
But Young himself apparently isn’t interested in that help, as offers were rebuffed.
“We can reach out, which we have done,” Vincent said. “We look to assist and support – to get him on track. We’ve reached out. We have been reaching out prior to his last incident. We’ve been working hard for quite some time in this situation. Everything is available to him.”
“We will be on call to support. That’s all we can do. We are here. We are on call. Our support team is here for you. Unless he engages back, all we can do is sit and be on call. ”
The idea of a professional athlete refusing help shouldn’t come as a surprise. But the league has to continue to work with players before they reach the sad state Young is in, to make sure they know about the services available to them.