I was taken back a bit this afternoon after hearing about the death of Eddie Griffin. According to police reports, Eddie died in a fiery crash when his SUV collided with a train. "Hit by a TRAIN" I repeated as I heard it. Burned beyond recognition. It took a week to identify him from his dental records.
A tragic end to a tragic life story. I have commented on Eddies trails and tribulations in the past. I always like to see Philly ballers do well. But I was concerned when he went to the NBA early. If anybody needed time to mature in college it was Eddie Griffin. Each time you heard about him it was for extremely odd behavior. Not the thug like behavior you often hear about. But mental stuff. I watched a slice of a documentary recently about how poorly mental illness is perceived in sports. Coaches don't know how to deal with it. The medical staff isn't prepared for it. Player's bravado prohibit them from acknowledging it exists. Eddie was repeatedly treated for drug and alcohol abuse. Something we see so commonly today and a staple of celebrities has become almost acceptable as bad behavior, but don't let anybody think your crazy.
You would think we could do better in this high dollar contract world of professional sports. Somebody with talent like Eddie should have gotten the help he needs. But mental health is ignored by professional sports. Better to be a drunk, a drug addict, a womanizer, an abuser or run dog fighting operations.