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Off the Cuff

NFL Safety Doug Middleton on Mental Health—OFF THE CUFF

By TDrew

The world is struggling to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic, and Mental Health Awareness Month could not be more timely. In the spirit of facilitating meaningful conversation , we went Off the Cuff with Doug Middleton, NFL Football Safety for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2017, the NFL Player’s Association named Doug the Week 15 NFLPA Community MVP. He earned this honor for his work with low-income children and his mission to increase mental health awareness.

Doug Middleton and a toddler doing push-ups
Doug Middleton as a Positive Role Model

This interview kicks off the Off the Cuff with 1AND1 Life series. Here, we go one-on-one with our favorite entrepreneurs, athletes, and influential people to talk about all dimensions of wellness. Off the Cuff segments are not pre-planned like your usual health and wellness interview. Our conversations are raw and one of a kind. In this half-hour, free-wheeling discussion, Doug talks about his foundation, Dream the Impossible Initiative. You’ll learn how it is raising awareness surrounding suicide and other mental health issues.

Dream the Impossible Initiative

Doug’s interest in issues relating to mental health and emotional wellness goes way back. His mother worked for 25 years in the field, and his personal experience with tragedy drove him to do more. The Dream the Impossible Initiative was born out of a desire to help people find the resources needed to achieve a constant state of mental wellness.

Doug Middleton and several kids and volunteers
Doug Middleton, Dream the Impossible Initiative

Doug’s best friend, AJ Morrison, lived with severe depression for many years. Doug did his best to provide assistance, support and love. However, AJ eventually took his own life. Following that traumatic event, Doug was convinced that AJ’s passing served a greater purpose. It was his best friend’s passing that spurred him to create the Dream the Impossible Initiative. 

Through the Initiative, Doug intends to help young people to realize their dreams. They can feel comfortable knowing that they have the resources necessary to help them through tough times. 

Doug Middleton Interview Key Points

In the interview, Doug discusses what led him to create the Dream the Impossible Initiative. He talks about his inspiration from his mom, his own challenges and his attempts to help his best friend, AJ. He reflects on what he did and said without knowing any better, and what he would have done differently. 

Doug also talks about the need for deeper understanding and more than simplistic answers when dealing with mental health issues. Furthermore, he dives into the challenges within the African American community, and other things that motivated him to act.

Positive thinking and mindset coaching are helpful for many people. However, they may not be enough to support a person who is dealing with mental health issues. In this video interview, you’ll gain insight into the stigmatization of mental health issues among Black males. You’ll also learn how role models like Doug, Kevin Love and LeBron James are helping to break through that stigmatization. 

Doug also reveals how many people look at him as living the perfect life. People can’t imagine that he’d have any mental health issues playing in the NFL and having achieved ‘success’. However, he sets the record straight with some truth bombs. 

Watch the full interview on YouTube to also gain insight into strategies to cope with the mental challenges of the Covid-19 environment. 

Doug Middleton’s Story

Doug played college football at Appalachian State, North Carolina, prior to signing with the New York Jets as a free agent in 2016. He had two pec tears, which affected his three year career with the Jets. In September, 2019 the jets released him. In that same month he signed with the Miami Dolphins. They released him in early November and he then signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars later that month. 

Doug and AJ grew up together in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In fact, they lived just a few doors from each other. They did everything together; running track, playing pick-up basketball games at lunch times and competing on their Middle School and High School football teams.

As they grew into teenagers, Doug was aware that AJ was struggling with his mental wellness. He tried his best to offer support and encouragement. But, not knowing any better, he gave the type of advice that many well-meaning but misguided friends provide.

Sadly, this advice was not helpful, and AJ committed suicide in July 2017. Doug was devastated. During AJ’s funeral service, Doug vowed to create a lasting legacy in honor of his best friend. The Dream the Impossible Initiative is the realization of that promise. 

Doug mentors young people, taking a leadership role in public speaking engagements at schools and other venues. He talks about strategies to deal with bullying. Additionally, he shows kids how to get help when they feel overwhelmed or are simply unable to cope with anxiety. The Initiative also provides materially, giving gifts to children who would otherwise go without. 

Final Thoughts From Doug Middleton

“My part is just trying to remember him however I can, and helping people understand that it’s just as important as your physical health, and provide them with critical factors that could contribute to their well-being and making sure they can do everything from their side to make sure they keep their mental spirits up.

These days, it’s tough. It does not matter if you’re a professional athlete or somebody working a regular job from 9-5. It’s very important that you find things and take out time to just work on your mental health and treat it just as important as your physical health.”

Doug Middleton

Watch The Full Interview On YouTube

Find Doug Middleton Online

  • Yo, nice shirt man
  • You got perfect set up with the 42 bottles in the back, look I’m trying to get mine in there. Feel what I’m saying get my little bar in there.
  • we’re going OFF THE CUFF with my boy, my brother an amazing guy all around Doug Middleton. Thank you for joining us man again, this is OFF THE CUFF of 1AND1 LIFE. This is where we go off the cuff with some of our favorite entrepreneurs, athletes just awesome, inspiring individuals and have conversations that span everything in wellness. And today I’m very, very grateful to have Doug here. I’ll let Doug introduce himself and tell you guys a little bit about him, but I’m really excited for our conversation today because we’re gonna be focused on mental health, which is something that I know Doug is extremely passionate about. Something that, you know I’m passionate about and that our platform is passionate about as well. So Doug let them know man, let them know, let them know who you are and what you about.
  • Yo, what’s good everybody. Doug Middleton, I’m from Winston-Salem, North Carolina I currently live in Charlotte, tax purposes I live in Florida, but you know we ain’t gonna go into that. I play safety for the Jaguars. I met TDrew in New York when I was playing for the Jets. I spent my first three seasons with Jets and, you know, went to Appalachian State. Went there, got my undergraduate in political science, got my masters in public administration from there also. I started a foundation called Dream the Impossible focusing on bringing awareness to mental health and you know, outside of that my passion include you know, real estate. You know, I enjoy doing yoga and just ball man. Just enjoying Football and living life besides that.
  • Amazing man, I think it’s extremely important and I think the reason why a conversation like this is so amazing is because I don’t think people get a lot of insight on how well rounded an athlete like you could be because just like LeBron James says and everybody else. You know, you’re epitome of being much more than just an athlete. So I really want you to just talk to the audience cause you know, a lot of people that, you know, follow our platform and then follow you as well. We’ll see this. Talk about your foundation a little bit man because I think it’s a beautiful thing. And I think it can be really beneficial for people, especially since it’s Mental Health Awareness Month to understand what kinda of was the impetus for starting your foundation. Where that came from and what’s you’re trying to do with it.
  • Yeah yeah yeah, So let me give everybody. You know, the complete back backstory of it. It started, you know, mainly my mom she’s been working in the mental health space for I mean 25 plus years, you know it’s something that’s like she’s been working with young adults, young teens since she was, you know, 25 years old. You know, so I know a little bit about mental health. She was an LPC, licensed professional counselor. So she, you know, definitely pass along tips for us to stay mentally sharp. But you know, even though my mom was a professional in that field, like it doesn’t mean that I was, you know, gonna turn an automatic professional. You know, I had my own experiences. I had my own things that I was going through and, you know, growing up my best friend, I had a best friend by the name of Ajay Morrison. We’ve been best friends since the age of six grew up on the same street with elementary school together, play pop Warner football together, went to middle school. And you know, we shared a lot of experiences together, a lot of firsts, you know, being two young black men growing up in the same neighborhood, in the same community. And you know, as I started to go to college and you know, he went to school, then I graduated, you know, things you know, began to take a little bit of turn. You know, as life began to hit both of us and then, you know, due to a traumatic event that he had, you know, just a bad breakup and things like that which is very common. Like we all have bad breakups, its all different things that bring us into a state of depression or, you know, it brings us down a little bit and that’s what happened with Ajay, he got a little depressed, you know, and I motivated him to try to reach out and get help. You know, me and my mom, you know, tried to try to lead them in that direction to find somebody that he could talk to. But you know, it’s so tough man trying to find a counselor. You know, as African American at first looks like you and can understand some of the things that you’re going through and kind of understand why you feeling that way about the traumatic event. And so that, you know, keep the story going. You know, it goes by for like two, three years when the Ajay is, you know, depressed. And then he just literally cannot just come out this slump that he’s in. And at the time I really, I knew about mental health, but I really didn’t know that much to where like I could lead him in the the greatest direction. So I would say some things that I, you know, I wouldn’t recommend myself saying now, but, you know, I would say man just pull yourself out of it. You know, things gonna be all right it’s not that bad. You know, I would say things like that to him and look back on it that wasn’t, you know the correct wordage. You know, and the correct verbiage. And you know, it came down to the fact that, you know, he couldn’t get the help that he needed. You know, so going into my second year. You know, I go, I always used to train in Miami and trained down there before training camp. And you know, I get a call from my dad and I’m like, you know my dad, me and my dad talk every day. But you know, it was, it just felt different when I got on a call with him, you know, and he was like, you know, “Are you sitting down?” I was like, yeah, you know, what’s up, you know? And he said, I just wanna let you know that your best friend had just killed himself. You know, just shot himself. And that really hit me. You know what I’m saying? You know, I started crying and I was already, you know, tired, exhausted trying to figure out how to, you know, get Ajay resources. You know, I was, I had this big platform. I was playing ball, things were going good, but I really didn’t know where to go as far as resources to get him help. So, you know, we drove up and I spoke at his funeral and you know, I started to tell people like, you know, what Ajay was going through and how he was suffering from depression and, you know, in the African American community. You say something like that and most people like, Oh okay, like why didn’t he just come to church and pray about it? You know, it’s like the first response to everything like oh just you know, just pray about it and think it’s gonna be all right. And, you know, as soon as I got done talking and I spoken about mental health, the pastor came up was like, if anybody’s in here going through something like that, just bring it to the church, just pray about it we’ll get it fixed right now. And that’s when I knew I had to do something. You know, I felt like that was like my call to action. You know, because after that people start coming up to me after the service and telling me like, “Hey, like I’m struggling too.” like where do I go? Like where do I turn? Like who can I talk to? And you know, like maybe a month later I go up to camp and then I have a season-ending injury with my shoulder. And now at this point I’m trying to figure out like, where like, who am I off the field? Like, who am I without the game of football? And you know, that’s when everything just kinda started to flow together. I created my foundation Dream the Impossible. And I made a promise to my community that I’ll use my platform to, you know, to honor Ajay. So even though, you know, Ajay took his life, you know, I’m trying to make sure that, you know, it doesn’t happen to anybody else. You know, as far as people that come in contact with him since then man it feels like God has been leading me in the right direction with the people I can talk to, different resources and that I may have for people and it’s just been uphill since then.
  • Yo, that’s phenomenal man. I think one of the most important things about life and what you do and again I think, you know, just you being a young black individual and you know, another reason why I’m glad you’re one of my really good friends because stuff like this is stuff that I look up to you for doing. I think there’s two things with this that I think is really important. You know, someone like you what you’re doing and bringing the light. And one of those things is, you know, mental health and depression and everything that has to do with mental health. You know, a lot of people when they’re like, “oh you know, it’s mindset get yourself up out of it.” Like, I’m big on mindset, right? I’m big on glass half full. I’m big on, you know, it’s how you see things. It’s how you shape things. It can always be worse. I’m big on that. But when people don’t understand about mental health is that a lot of times it’s a chemical imbalance and when it’s a chemical imbalance, you can’t do much to stop that because at some point it’s gonna reek havoc. And that’s why you need resources. That’s why you need conversation. That’s why you need information and understanding. And to your point that’s why I think, it’s so important for people not only to see this message coming from you, but from both of us is because in, you know the African American community, but for young black men in general. Mental health and that type of stuff is stigmatized not just with young black men but with men in general. So I would like to hear from you talk a little bit about, I think this is a huge opportunity to not just what you’re doing, but for the conversation as a whole. Talk about for you and just your life and being a mental health advocate. How you’ve come to understand how mental health within the male demographic is really taking hold. You know, we talk, you know, about Kevin Love, you know, we can talk about LeBron James. Like being an ambassador for the Calm App, like now is the time where mental health is really starting to be de-stigmatize, you know, as a part of the male population because tons of men deal with it. So I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts on that kind of how that’s, you know, been something that’s kind of been a driver for what you do.
  • Yeah, so just thinking back on that question. I always look at my dad, you know, I didn’t really see my dad show much emotion growing up. You know what I’m saying? Like just growing up, I felt like he always had everything that a control, you know, at least from my viewpoint, you know, and it just made it seem like he’s a hero. You know, my dad is definitely, you know, my hero for sure. You know, just his leadership and the way he kept things together and the way he provided for our family. As I started to get older, I started to realize like and I started to, you know, spend more time with him I started to realize that mentally, he didn’t have everything under control. It looked like that in the surface, but he doesn’t, you know, and a few years ago, like I could never really get him to open up about it. And now that the conversation is and the stigma is it starting to, you know, be removed a little bit like and me and my dad talk about his mental state. Like every single day. I’m calling my pops like man, how are you doing today? Cause he drives a truck. So he’s in there by himself, like you know, 12 hours a day which can be, you know, that can be tough mentally. Like you really in your thoughts like the whole day, if you don’t, if you’re not fueling your mind with the right things. And so like we, you know, we just discussed different things like that. And then just as far as like the environment around, you know, men and the mental health stigma, I think he’s starting to, you know, get removed a little bit. I’m not saying this is all the way there, but there’s definitely been some progress that’s been made. I mean look at guys like Kevin Love, Michael Phelps, my boy AriK Armstead that plays a dealer for the 49ers. He has a great foundation for mental health. Like a lot of people are starting to have that conversation. And it’s really about especially as African American men and men in general, you know, we look looked at as like, you know, the head of the household and a lot of things that we do, we looked at our fathers that way and it’s okay to not have everything under control. It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to know that, Hey, I’m not the one that has to, you know, I have everything on my back. I gotta do it all. And even in times where we don’t, you know, we can’t get it done, we gotta have a peer group, you know, around us. Like, you know, great man like yourself, like we got to have a whole team that can help push us through. I can just point that back to like things my aunt used to say to me, like, who are you hanging around? She’s always say that. Like what kind of company you keeping? Because there’s a lot of times where I struggle. I’ve had struggles on the field, off the field. I have struggles in every phase of my life. And like my first point of contact is my friend group. You know, my friends, my brothers and those are the ones that helped me get out that slump. And you know, it even gets to the point where sometimes there is a chemical imbalance and then you are diagnosed with something. And then it’s about being comfortable enough to know that, Hey, like I know me reaching out and getting help is the best thing for me. And it’s gonna be the best thing for my family. And I think that’s where the stigma is starting to change man people really noticing that you don’t have to have everything under control. You don’t have to be perfect. Like it’s okay to have faults. And I think that’s what my whole conversation is about. Like as a professional athlete because so many people look up to me and think I’m like perfect. They think like, Oh, nothing’s wrong with you? How can you be depressed? Like how could something be wrong with you? You landed in the NFL and I’m like, yo, you don’t even know man. Like it’s a lot more that goes into it. And it’s a lot more mentally that you know, that I battle every single day. And it’s just like all kinds of other professionals that you know, it takes a lot to get, you know to the pinnacle to the top. You know what I’m saying? You go through a lot and along that way, you gotta be able to be mentally strong. Though I feel like those are the people that make it to the top of any line of work. You know, people who can be mentally strong and outlast diversity and outlast different things that they may go through. And that when they do go through something they’re not afraid to reach out and get help. I think the stigma is definitely changing man. I think people are get better with their reaching out and I’m just trying to keep the conversation going.
  • Right yeah, I think to what you said, I think what was really important to that is building good habits, right? And you know, understanding that like what you just said, like one of my favorite quotes from Jay Z is the most genius thing that we ever do is not quit, right? And it’s-
  • It’s the hustle, you know.
  • Right exactly, like it’s like perseverance and that type of stuff it’s it. But it’s obviously it’s hard to do that. Now switching a little bit to talk about obviously everything that’s going on, you know, we’ve all had to change what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been doing, and how we’ve been living our lives whether you know being businessmen, whether it be an athlete stuff like that. And in that conversation of habits and building good patterns and adapting. What are some things that you can share with not only athletes, but entrepreneurs cause the same way I look at athletics is same way I look at business, right? Like, you know, I’m, you know, just playing sports in college. What I was able to take from that and move it to the business world. It’s so many of the same things, right? You gotta build teams, you gotta lead, you gotta push, you know, you gotta get a pulse of the whole group. You know, you gotta do all those things. So the question for me is what are some things that you’ve been doing that have maybe been differently, things that you’ve been doing that you’ve had to do differently due to the COVID stuff. And do you have any tips for or ideas for athletes, entrepreneurs to either stay in shape physically, stay in shape mentally like how to continue to build good habits? Like what would have been some of the stuff that you’ve been doing during this time has been different?
  • Yeah so, you know, the first time, you know, the first weekend that they shut everything down, you know, I was just trying to figure out like what to do with all this time. I felt like I was like bored, but I wasn’t getting anything accomplished. And then you know, maybe like a week and a half, two weeks into it I’m like man, I can’t go through this whole quarantine and not, you know, come out a better person or come out with something to show for it. And you know, the game of football kind of became secondary because but not secondary, but I had to adjust my routine because you know, it was a lot of things like the gyms weren’t open, you know, my schedule as has completely changed and it felt like the rug was just like pulled from under me. Like right now, like I’m supposed to be at work, you know in Florida, you know, at the facility but you know, due to COVID we can’t do that right now. You know, my mindset just changed man and I really shifted it and tried to figure out like okay, what do I wanna show for myself? Like when this is all over all this time, like what can I show for it? And that’s when I really started to shift my, improving on myself man, I was going through a lot before COVID started, you know, me and my girl was going through a lot. It was just pretty much like, you know, I was to the point where I enjoy my off season but I was drinking a little bit more than I usually do and you know, I had to really find myself and find different characteristics that I wanna identify myself. And so that was the first thing man self-improvement that’s the first thing that I was able to accomplish during this quarantine and really better myself, on next thing is, you know, better my relationship with God. I was able to do that. The next thing I was able to do was read man, I sat down and read a few books man, read TD Jake’s book ‘Crushing” I read Michael Todd book “Relationship Goals”. And also I got into real estate. That was something that, you know, I enjoy not flipping homes but rehabbing them and rent them out. I was able to do that. I’ve got a couple of rentals on the contract. Outside of that man, I just pretty much revamped my entire foundation. Like there was a lot of things that I felt like I was doing, but I felt like the best thing I can do is motivate student athletes and share my story and let them know like how to get through it because you know, being a student athlete is tough. You know that man like, you know, eating, you gotta eat, you gotta, you know, maintain your social life, academically and then you gotta perform, like it’s tough, you know what I’m saying? And I feel like they don’t got enough resources out there for student athletes man. And that’s why you seeing, you know, some of the suicides by student athletes. These high level student athletes because you know, they’re not adjusting the resources and life is only getting tougher. The social media thing, like, you know, I couldn’t be a kid this age, like the way social media is and seeing all the competition on social media it’s tough. So my advice to any entrepreneur, you know, I hope they spent this time, you know, bettering themselves, bettering their business, bettering themselves individually and improving their team. You know, that’s what I did. Like I just kind of analyze like okay, you know, who do I have working on my team? Like, cause like you said, like my profession is a business. I run a business. I told my parents that the other day, you know, I pay my trainer. I pay the person that does all my rehab and stuff. Like my massage therapist, my chef those are all employees that helped my business become better. That helps me produce better on the football field. So I had to really take a look at my business and really understand like the people that I was working with. And I’m still doing all that man and really trying to figure out like how to improve. Cause you know, when COVID is over with and things opened back up, it’s off the ground running, you know what I’m saying? Either you got better, you got worst. It was one of the two and you started to see a lot of the people that’s innovative, you know, during this time man cause like a lot of people have had to move. A lot of companies ever had to move things to virtual. Some people like don’t really know how to work technology like that. And they can’t really innovate that way. That’s why I always salute you man, you innovative man you know how to, you know, make changes and adapt. I just think about, like the things that we’re going through right now man. It’s just like the stuff we used to read the history books in school. Like we like COVID is one of those things. Like this is about to be toe to toe with the great depression type of thing.
  • That’s the crazy part about this man. Like when we look back on this man, like almost 50 million people that filed for unemployment.
  • Yeah.
  • 50 million people.
  • They’re like 15% yo.
  • 50 million people. Like, cause my whole thing with all this is like, this too shall pass, right? Like that. It’s always what it is, but like it’s exactly what you said and you know, I think it’s very important. Like I’ve seen these memes and I’ve seen stuff and it’s like, you know, if you don’t come out of this with like a new income stream and a new blah, blah, blah, like, you know, you, weren’t something, something you just lack work ethic. And it’s like um.
  • Even all about income stream man.
  • Right. It’s not even it’s not about that. It’s so many things that you can get from this. I think it’s being able to lock into what you said, like building new habits in a different way of doing things. I think if you think about it this way, like parents and children, especially working parents, they’ve never had this much time with their children ever.
  • Ever.
  • That’s a beautiful thing, right? Like I think it’s just so interesting to me and that’s why I, the whole conversation with you not only about mental health, but about how as an athlete, how you’re running your business as an entrepreneur, like not only giving back but giving back to your body, giving back to your mind, right? Like making sure that you’re not behind the eight-ball because you can control it, right? I think to wrap up, I think I wanna really get your thoughts on these two things and then after that I want you to just let people know like how they can support your foundation, you know, things they can do things of that nature. But I think there’s two things that kind of go within who you are and what you do in mental health that I think are really important. One thing is that the fact that vulnerability is actually a strong point, right? Especially for people like us. So I would like to hear what that means to you in addition, control what you can control is probably one of the most important things to me in something like this. So I would also like to know what that means to you because I think it would be valuable for everybody watching this.
  • Yeah, so I’m gonna start, I start with control what you can control. So I can easily bring that back to football man. Cause it’s so, that’s like that my number one mindset when it comes to the game of football because there’s so many external factors that go into, you know, making a team or getting cut or you know, injuries like all you can do is control what you can control. Because if you try to focus on all external factors your mind will be spinning. You’re gonna be spinning trying to plan out different scenarios. Okay like, what if this guy does this? Like what I mean, like all you can do is like, my coach would always say one thing, be where your feet are man. Like be exactly where your feet are. And as soon as you do that, you know, life is, I’m not gonna promise you that life is going to be always positive for you, but you always got a chance. Man you always got a chance to move forward because you just worrying about the things that you can control and that’s putting in the work that’s putting in the time and putting in the effort. And then eventually, you know, like Nipsey Hussle always say like eventually, like the we’re gonna give in, you know what I’m saying? You’ll break gonna come and then, and the when your opportunity comes, you gotta take it and run with it. So that’s what I would say about control what you can control. And then me I think my best asset and my best character trait is Vulnerability. I always had become vulnerable because when I was growing up, my mom used to say like you never opened up, you never talk about the things you’re going through. You never really communicate with us that well. And you know, that’s something that like I had to improve with, you know and I felt like I even got better with it during this COVID time. just improving like the way I opened up and approving the way I talk about the things that I go through because that vulnerability gives hope to others. You know like, you never know like who will learn from your story or who will find positivity and your story and encouragement and whatever you share to people. You never know who is listening to what you’re saying and being vulnerable and like being fully disclosing, you know, the things that you face can only bring positivity. I mean that’s why we love, you know, superstar so much on IG because they’re so vulnerable. Like we love the Kim Kardashians because they show everything like we can actually see, Oh, this is what it’s like living this lifestyle. You can see it, you know, nobody wouldn’t like her if she never posted her picture and she never showed us anything. I mean it didn’t just like anybody else. So it’s like the vulnerability is the best thing man. If you can get to the point where you’re comfortable with letting people know how you battle something and how you overcame it. I think that means the world.
  • Incredible man. Well, why don’t you let as far as your foundation is concerned and in everything that you’re doing. If there’s something special you’re doing for Mental Health Awareness Month obviously, you know, after this call fill me in because you know, I wanna be as involved as I can with everything that you’re doing. So anything that I can give anything that 1AND1 can give, any time that I can give, resources, whatever it is, speaking, whatever that entails please let me know. But in addition let you know, the people that are watching this out, and you know how can they contact you and how can they help with your foundation? Because stuff like this is stuff that, you know, we’re gonna make sure gets pushed out to as many people as possible because I feel like it’s a very, very relevant, amazing and valuable conversation.
  • Yeah yeah, So you can follow foundation www.dreamtheimpossible.org. You can follow me for updates on my IG @36DM_era. And then right now for Mental Health Awareness Month man. We just been, we’ve been doing a whole lot of things. We did a live session with the NFLPA just answering any questions around mental health in that space. I’ve got a mental health gala for one, you know, one of the guys that’s definitely encouraged me in this space for his foundation. So just speaking at that and then next week just speaking to different college athlete teams and staff and encouraging them about some things that they can do during this time that they have to get better mentally and physically. And really just partnering with different organizations that have a huge platform and being able to get the word out and remove the stigma man. We want more people to be vulnerable, we want more people to reach out for help. And we want more people to have that conversations with their peers man cause that’s where it starts. Like I’m always a big believer of getting a therapist and counselor but I first believe in peer support man. And as young black brothers. Man we got to connect with each other and as anybody, you know what I’m saying? Get you a friend group that you can sit and chat and be vulnerable with and let them know like, you know what you’re going through because you never know how much that will help you. You know and you never know what they’re going through too. So appreciate it bro. Appreciate the convo you know, we’re gonna connect for sure.
  • Amen, Doug Middleton, mental health advocate, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback, safety, linebacker, running back, QB, running back, special team all around tremendous human being. Thank you man, thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to do this. I don’t take that for granted at all and thank you for being a good friend of mine man. I look up to you in a lot of ways and you’re an amazing human being. So thank you again for taking the time. Thank you for doing what you’re doing and thanks for being on OFF THE CUFF with me man. It’s been amazing.
  • Appreciate it, thank you.
  • Awesome bro.
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