Sports

Athletes Who Took Their Own Lives  

People in Sports
163.4k views 85 items

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.

Junior Seau is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Athletes Who Took Their Own Lives
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 on Wikipedia

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

More Junior Seau

#6 of 103 on The Best USC Trojans Players of All Time #89 of 1529 on The Best Football Players Ever #9 of 155 on The Greatest Linebackers of All Time #18 of 509 on The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

see more on Junior Seau
Rick Rypien is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Athletes Who Took Their Own Lives
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 enforcer ...more on Wikipedia

Age: Dec. at 27 (1984-2011)

Birthplace: Blairmore, Canada

Teams: Vancouver Canucks

see more on Rick Rypien
Wade Belak is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Athletes Who Took Their Own Lives
Photo: Resolute/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Wade Belak passed on August 31, 2011, when he was 35 years old. His passing was treated as an offense on his own life, but many family members believe it may have been accidental.

Wade William Belak (born Wade William Aadland; July 3, 1976 – August 31, 2011) was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward and defenceman. He was drafted 12th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, and the Nashville Predators in the National Hockey League (NHL). ...more on Wikipedia

Age: Dec. at 35 (1976-2011)

Birthplace: Saskatoon, Canada

Teams: Florida Panthers

see more on Wade Belak
Kenny McKinley is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Athletes Who Took Their Own Lives
Photo: Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Kenny McKinley ended his life on September 20, 2010, at age 23, from a gunshot wound.

Kendrick "Kenny" L. McKinley (January 31, 1987 – September 20, 2010) was an American football wide receiver for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Broncos in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at South Carolina. ...more on Wikipedia

Age: Dec. at 23 (1987-2010)

Birthplace: Mableton, Georgia

Teams: Denver Broncos

see more on Kenny McKinley