August 5, 2018 – Forbes –
Brian Dawkins battled depression throughout his professional football career. Thoughts of suicide were frequent. Had he successfully executed his “plans” during his rookie year, he would never have become the face of the Eagles’ defense for much of the 2000’s. He wouldn’t have been around to help take the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 2004 or to be honored in Canton. But fortunately, Dawkins had someone who was willing to listen and willing to help. Here is what he said about former Eagles defensive coordinator Emmitt Thomas in his NFL Football Hall of Fame Induction speech:
I call you Uncle Emmitt for a reason. When I was in those depressive states, when I was thinking about suicide, it was because of your hand, your guidance, and your believing in me, helping me to go see somebody about the struggles I was having, to allow me to be alive today. So you’re one of those guardian angels that blessed by the best, yes, I’ve been blessed, and he’s one of the best I’m talking about.