Mathieu contemplated suicide while in jail


For every NFL player who can’t overcome the demons of addiction, there are many who do.  Most we never know about, because their confidentiality rights under the league’s treatment and testing programs was respected.

For Tyrann Mathieu, his issues with marijuana are well-documented, and his ability to stay clean through a rookie season that ended with the despair of a torn ACL is impressive.  But he bottomed out after being kicked out of LSU due to marijuana issues.  He now concedes that, while behind bars two years ago, he considered ending it all.

“I’m sitting in that jail cell thinking, ‘I don’t know if I want to go back out there and face the music,'” the Cardinals safety said Wednesday, via Craig Morgan of FOX Sports Arizona.  “I didn’t know how I was going to commit suicide in the cell, but that was the direction my life was heading. . . .

“Believe it or not, my cellmates were encouraging me, telling me I was a good football player, telling me I don’t need to be thinking about this,” Mathieu said.  “That’s probably why I really didn’t do it, but there was an actual moment where I was thinking about, and I’ll never forget that feeling.”

The topic arose because Mathieu tweeted recently that he has “tried committing suicide.”  He has since removed the message.

He now hopes to find a way to help others who need help, the way he needed it.

“I want to start a foundation called Second Chance,” Mathieu said. “I was given a second chance, so I want to reach out to different groups of people.  It would be nice to give that opportunity to others. . . .  People go through a lot of things. They can be every-day personal things, not just suicide.  I just want to reach out and use this platform for something positive and be an inspiration to people who want to see me as an inspiration.”

Mathieu could use some periodic inspiration of his own as he tries to stay away from marijuana.

“It’s a long process, and it’s going to continue to be a long process,” Mathieu said. “I just try to come to work every day and stay on top of my rehab — just continue to push myself.  I don’t try to get too down about it; I don’t try to get too excited when my knee is feeling good.  I just take it as it comes.”

We wish him the best as he continues to deal with these issues, and we hope that other players wrestling with the disease of addiction receive the treatment they need and, in time, a mechanism through the NFL that won’t ultimately prevent them from having the support, the structure, and the income that flow from being employed.

69 responses to “Mathieu contemplated suicide while in jail

  1. So this guy was thrown into jail, where he subsequently contemplated suicide…all because police searched his home and found a lil bud? I understand Tyrann being upset with himself and worried about the ramifications his arrest would have on his football career, but for him to be thinking about killing himself over what many people would consider to be laughable drug charges…it’s completely absurd. Mathieu wasn’t caught slinging heroin around town, or binging on crack cocaine, he just got caught with a little grass. I know Mathieu must have had other things going wrong in his life…but how could he possibly consider ending his life over something so utterly insignificant as getting caught with a bit of weed???

  2. Well I am happy that he worked through his issues like a man and decided not to take the easy way out…

  3. Addiction is NOT a disease. It is a choice. People make the wrong choices then cry for help because they have an addiction. Make better choices and be accountable for your actions. Good luck Tyrann. Can;t wait for you to hit the field in 2014

  4. He couldn’t seem to get out of his own way , when a person makes mistake after mistake after mistake and eats and
    Has to swallow any bit of ego they have to figure themselves out it is not easy . Those type of situations are what change boys to real men . Coming from a similar ( not drug related humbling experience ) I can say you come back with so much more perspective and come back harder and more ferocious than ever . You creat a solid foundation in which yo build on and every thing you do remains in perspective ( atleast for myself) .

    “Why it is you do what you do and for whom” these things push you to accomplish thing people who have never faced that type of struggle never will . You relearn your why and that will see you through any situation .

    Ego is mans great downfall many times but glad as a Seahawks fan to see this kid get his life together , if he can clean up a bit more off his arrogance (twitter ) he will be officially on a endless winning path !

    Good luck kid , go hawks !

  5. It wasn’t the cannabis that made him want to commit suicide, rather it was the draconian penalties he had to endure for choosing a relatively harmless form of self-medication.

  6. Thank God you didn’t! Life can be really hard, but it can also be really great and the good outweighs the bad. Keep on, keeping on young fella. You got a lot of goods things ahead of you.

    Plus you are the f’n Honey Badger, and nothing can kill a Honey Badger…….besides the Seahawks receiving core 😛

  7. I hope Daryl Washington can turn it around like T-Mat seems to have done. Although, a year suspension for Marijuana is ridiculous. Give him 1 more chance Steve Keim, he’s just too gifted to let someone like Belichick snatch him up.

  8. Weed is not addictive lol. I put down the bong and blunts cold turkey, Cigarettes were harder. But nothing should be that bad to take your own life. Glad Honey Badger is on the right track though !! I cant judge him….

  9. This guy is special. I think he’ll surprise and inspire people. Anyone who has struggled and been down knows that feeling of wanting to end it all. Sometimes having everything taken from you makes you appreciate it like never before. Best of luck to him.

  10. Great story. There’s no problem with smoking weed, but if you have to hopes between your profession/friends/family/etc and smoking, never choose smoking. Matthieu may play for a rival of the Niners but e sounds like a great guy who has grown and matured. There was a point in his life when smoking was fine, but once he hit the crossroads where it no longer was fine, he made the right choice.

  11. While I applaud Mathieu for turning his life around addiction is not a disease it is a series of choices. Cancer is a disease. Asthma is a disease. Cystic Fibrosis is a disease. Comparing real diseases to addiction eliminates the very real element of free will which is implicit in addiction.

  12. i was so jealous my favorite team didn’t draft mathieu, i felt like he looked like someone that put their past behind them, maybe it’s better he ended up on the cardinals bc he seems to be really flourishing in that environment.

  13. Sad to hear stories like this, it’s just as sad for people to think that suicide is their only way out when there is so much good out there to be had and be a part of if they just wouldn’t give up. Life is a gift we all need to embrace and cherish and do so in a way that brings positivity to the world and the people we are surrounded by.

  14. So he wanted to end it all because he smoked weed? He must have been high as all hell to say something like that. More likely he wants a pity pot party. Was he hittin the wax? I know that stuff is 80%-90% pure THC. Yup must be the wax. Next time just say no

  15. I’d consider suicide too if I had to play for the Cardinals.

    And am I the only one who’s wondering how an NFL athlete could actually consider suicide afterr a few days in jail? Man up, breh. That’s just embarrassing.

  16. Drugs aren’t the problem. The people using them are. Contemplating committing suicide over a weed infraction says more about his mental instability than it does of his addiction. His problems precede drug use, like potentially throwing away a football career and dealing with the shame of getting caught with illicit drugs. Illegality of a substance definitely causes more problems than the use of the substance itself, in this case marijuana, does.

  17. Everybody has dark moments in life. Not everyone has something worth living for. Glad he seems to realize he’s getting a 2nd chance and hopefully he makes good on that and pays it forward.

  18. Wait, he wanted to commit suicide over some buds? He must of been lacing that blunt with something else besides some marijuana.

  19. Although addiction is now considered a disease, it is not fair to compare it to physical diseases like cancer. If I have cancer, it doesn’t cause me to get behind the wheel of a car and potentially kill innocent people.

  20. We wish him the best? I was contemplating suicide? Over marijuana?? Wow, haha. Do you know how absurd your posts sound pft??

  21. Now this is the kind of story I love to read. He gets it. I hope he is able to stay clean and get his Second Chance foundation going. Excellent comeback; good for him.

  22. Sometimes in life one has to wrestle with demons. Tyrann is probably not the first or the last player to have some negative thoughts. Rather than sensationalizing the comments, he should be given greater encouragement for his great play on and off the field to successfully get his life in order and succeed.
    Give the Honey Badger a thumbs up for the progress he’s made in overcoming his demons. Congrats, Tyrann – keep it up.

  23. It’s long past due to legalize it. Young men shouldn’t be contemplating suicide because of these outrageous penalties and punishments attached to smoking a natural herb that has been around B.C. (And I don’t mean British Columbia). Plenty of people have it worse off than Mathieu too.

  24. God allows us to go through things so that we can help others. I’m hoping that Mathieu can keep up the good work and be an example for others that struggle as well.

  25. I struggle to equate irresponsibly getting stoned with a disease or addiction. I dont think obese people have food addictions. Neither do I think a lack of getting the munchies is a withdrawal syndrome.

  26. Glad he’s staying sober for the purposes of NFL employment, but this whole fallacy of “marijuana addiction” is ridiculous.

  27. I think we have all been faced with a challenge in life that we felt there was no way out. In most instances time will sort things out and a better day is on the horizon.Keep your head up Honeybadger

  28. That’s a very dark place to be. Keep fighting the fight . Good luck this year , stay healthy.

  29. All these players, and from different sports, have their own foundations that are disconnected and scattered. They would really effect change if they grouped their resources together under one banner.

  30. Wow. What a good story. Hopefully he stays on the right track, has a solid career, and can serve as some sort of inspiration for other people who are considering suicide or are in really tough places in their lives.

  31. Alot of people turned on him because of his smoking habit, instead of getting him help it’s hard growing up one way than change in one day some stuff is tuff to overcome after being accustomed to it. Should blame the Mayor for having nothing for kids to do in the community. The system is a good olé boy’s club, so your getting BOOKED!


  32. I’m astounded at the commenters that think Mathieu’s thoughts of suicide were about weed. How tone deaf and obtuse people can be!

    His demon was that he had lost the game of football.

    Kicked off of LSU’s winning team, tarnished his Heisman accolade, and thrown in jail, his dream of playing professional football had slipped away. Was it out of his reach and gone forever? THIS was the root of his depression.

    Remember all the negative focus on him and the talk of his draft slide prior to the Cards giving him a chance? Tyrann has proven to all what he is made of.

    Go Tyrann.

  33. The people that say marijuana is not addictive are so clueless. Any mind altering substance or activity for that matter can be addictive. Some are MUCH more susceptible to it. If you don’t understand it, be thankful you don’t.

    To those that say it’s a choice. Yes, the choice is to fully abstain or live a constant battle. Much more difficult than take it or leave it at will

  34. I can’t believe the ignorance by many shown to somebody who had thoughts of suicide no matter the reason.
    I suggest they read this recent story of an ordinary man who reached the pinnacle of success in his chosen and very competitive field.
    No drugs or mental illness contributed to his death when he stepped in front of a train a year after winning an Oscar.
    Oscar to Suicide in One Year: Tracing the ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ Director’s Tragic Final Days

  35. Any repetitive behavior can become addictive for a tiny percentage of people. Even healthy behavior can be addictive, like working out or running. That’s mental addiction, not physical.

    In that respect, cannibis can be habit forming. But it is not physically addictive like tobacco, alcohol, and prescription drugs. Nobody goes through physical withdrawal symptoms from cannibis. They don’t exist.

  36. You guys saying things like, “All over some weed,” just don’t get it.

    It’s good to hear he’s healing.

  37. i am all for legalizing it, but with nationwide legalization will the government force companies to stop testing for it? bottom line is, whether its legal or not, if you signed a contract that says you can’t do it, don’t do it.

  38. In the words of the former 85 .. “CHILD PLEASE”.. All that trouble and still in the league.. Alot to be hunble about now.. Question is how hard would he have fought to get into the league if it didnt come so easy..

  39. To all you guys telling me that you cant get addicted to weed, tell that to my college roommate who smokes weed all day. He tried to quit, was dry heaving all day, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t do anything.

    If you give your body a lot of ANY substance for a prolonged period of time, if you stop giving your body the said substance you will have a hard time

  40. I truly cannot believe this kid was lambasted the way he was over freaking weed.

    As long as he isnt committing a crime against another individual, he can do what he wants in his own time as far as I am concerned.

    Get it together America.

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