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Brandon Dawkins on leaving football: “I need to take care of me”

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Former graduate transfer Brandon Dawkins spoke candidly on his Instagram page about his decision to leave Indiana and football due to his mental health.

Northern Arizona v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After seemingly abruptly leaving the Indiana football program earlier this week, quarterback Brandon Dawkins took to Instagram on Wednesday evening to explain his decision.

And in case you are unable to read the Instagram post, here’s the full transcription:

To Whom This May Concern:

Football has been a life changer for me.

It has introduced me to friends who have become family. It has given me a platform to be in people’s life, and I have always tried to use that to share a smile. I have always done everything in my power to help others, even if that may just be a simple joke that ignited a smile. Football has also helped me get to college and obtain my degree. Not to mention all of the life skills that it has tough me and memories it has given me that will last the rest of my life. The most important thing to me though has been the joy that the game always brought me. Over the last couple years I lost touch with that joy. I respect and love the game, but I have lost touch with it. I am not too proud to admit that I needed help. I am grateful for the sports psychology team at both Arizona and Indiana for helping me at some of the lowest points in my life. The game has getting me depressed and hurting my well-being. As my mental health is deteriorating I have decided to take a break from the game. I know now that I need to take care of ME. I need to make myself important. I have not properly taken care of myself. Do I know what’s next? Of course not, but I do know God has a plan that is way bigger than any plans I could ever imagine for myself. I hope you can respect my privacy during this time, and my decision. Thank you all.

Sincerely,

Brandon

First and foremost, kudos to Dawkins for admitting he needs help and seeking it out, something that takes an incredible amount of courage. While mental health awareness is a growing subject matter in the world today, it’s still treated as taboo in many senses and segments of the country.

Secondly, let this serve as a lesson that shouldn’t have been needed to many. Lots of people look quite foolish today in light of this news from Dawkins. Why people felt the need to bash the kid in the first place is beyond me, but questioning his mental toughness is the very reason people are afraid to seek out help for mental illnesses.

It does not matter what this does to Indiana’s football team. It does not matter what this does to the quarterback situation. It matters that Dawkins gets himself in a better place mentally. And I think I speak for all of us at CQ when I say that we wish him the best.