Milton Bradley admits to thoughts about suicide

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes that troubled Mariners’ outfielder Milton Bradley has pondered suicide following years of stress and frustration stemming from baseball.

The answer was simple. For the last two years, since he first came back from a torn ACL in his knee, suffered late in the 2007 season when he fell while arguing with an umpire, Bradley has been allowing “unpleasant thoughts” into his head. Thoughts about what? Well, sometimes suicide.

“When you start feeling that the only way you can end it is to kill yourself, that’s not a healthy feeling,” Bradley said of the constant negativity and anxiety that surrounded him. “So, I needed to get away, to step back for a bit. There are too many people I care about in this world to let things go down that road.”

Now, obviously that’s an attention-getter right there. It’s what folks will be talking about in the street tomorrow. But it’s only part of what Bradley wanted to convey. This doesn’t mean he was about to end his life. What it does mean is that Bradley, as a man who does an awful lot of thinking and put quite a bit of thought into the answers he gave me this morning, began pondering the merits of suicide. He told his wife that he could understand why people chose to end their lives. Not that he was about to rush out and do it himself. But that he could sympathize with their feelings. And that’s not a good thing. To be so unhappy that suicide begins to look like a reasonable alternative.

Sometimes we all get caught up in the actions of an athlete and forget that they’re all human. I’m guilty of this too; I see a headline and think to myself, “Well, that’s just Milton Bradley – he’s crazy.” But it takes an article like this to really put things into perspective.

Athletes are paid an enormous amount of money to play a game. But with that money comes stress and the pressure to succeed on a consistent basis. In today’s world, the media has access to everything so these athletes’ private lives are often on full display. That only leads to more pressure and stress, and as a human being I only hope that these athletes can deal with these circumstances.

Here’s hoping Bradley gets the serious help he needs.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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