• Sports

Athletes Who Took Their Own Lives

It's always heartbreaking to find out that there are many athletes who have ended their own lives. When your favorite players are gone too soon by their own hands, it can be difficult to cope with. Athletes who have ended their own lives are often depressed, or involved with substance abuse. Several famous boxers, NBA players, and football stars have ended their own lives. 

Who are some of the most famous athletes to commit suicide?  NFL linebacker Junior Seau currently tops our list. He passed on May 2, 2012, at age 43, by shooting himself in the chest. NHL player Rick Rypien struggled with clinical depression for most of his life, and passed on August 15, 2011 at age 27. On December 1, 2012, 25-year old Jovan Belcher shot and slayed his girlfriend, the mother of his child, and then drove to the Kansas City Chiefs' practice facility and shot himself. At age 67, boxer Kid McCoy ended his life on April 18, 1940, by taking sleeping pills. His note read, "Everything in my possession, I want to go to my dear wife, Sue E. Selby ... To all my dear friends ... best of luck ... sorry I could not endure this world's madness."

Why do you think so many professional athletes commit suicide? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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  • Phillip Adams

    Former NFL player Phillip Adams killed himself on April 8, 2021, after killing five people on a shooting rampage in South Carolina

    Phillip M. Adams (July 20, 1988 – April 8, 2021) was an American professional football player who was a cornerback in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the South Carolina State Bulldogs and was drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He also played for the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, and Atlanta Falcons. On April 8, 2021, Adams shot and killed himself following a standoff with police.  ...more
    • Age: 33
    • Birthplace: Rock Hill, South Carolina
    • Teams: Seattle Seahawks, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders
  • Aaron Hernandez was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Just days after being acquitted in a different double-murder trial, Hernandez hanged himself by his bedsheets in his prison cell.

    • Age: Dec. 27 (April 19, 2017)
    • Birthplace: Bristol, Connecticut
    • Teams: New England Patriots

    #28 of 85 The Best University of Florida Football Players of All Time#3 of 80 The Most Controversial Athletes in Sports History#47 of 142 The Biggest First Round NFL Draft Pick Busts

  • Photo: Dave Sizer / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    At age 43, Junior Seau took his life on May 2, 2012, by shooting himself in the chest.

    Tiaina Baul "Junior" Seau Jr. (; SAY-ow; January 19, 1969 – May 2, 2012) was an American football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL). Known for his passionate play, he was a 10-time All-Pro, 12-time Pro Bowl selection, and named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. He was elected posthumously to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Originally from Oceanside, California, Seau played college football at the University of Southern California (USC). He was chosen by the San Diego Chargers as the fifth overall pick of the 1990 NFL Draft. Seau started for 13 seasons for the Chargers and led them to Super Bowl XXIX before being traded to the Miami Dolphins where he  ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 43 (1969-2012)
    • Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States of America
    • Teams: New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, USC Trojans

    #61 of 1,342 The Best Football Players Ever#9 of 153 The Greatest Linebackers of All Time#4 of 104 The Best USC Trojans Players of All Time

  • Photo: Resolute / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    Rick Rypien struggled with clinical depression for much of his life. He passed on August 15, 2011, by his own hand.

    Richard Joseph Rypien (May 16, 1984 – August 15, 2011) was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward who spent parts of six seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Vancouver Canucks. After a major junior career of four years with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL), he was signed to a professional contract by the minor league Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2005. The following season, he signed with the Canucks. He spent six years with the organization, splitting time between the Canucks and Moose, their AHL affiliate. A fourth-line player in the NHL, he was known for his hitting and fighting abilities, though was not regarded as an  ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 27 (1984-2011)
    • Birthplace: Blairmore, Canada
    • Teams: Vancouver Canucks