Drug-shot football star Keith McCants dies at 53

McCants Script KEITH: (scoring) I have mixed feelings about Draft Day. It’s very vivid, hard to remember the detail of a detail KEITH: I walked in with a bad leg, and I came out worse than ever, and if I had known what I knew today, I wouldn’t would not have done it. KEITH: th- NFL, they know what they’re going to do before they do it. They’re very well organized, it’s just like uh, organized crime KEITH: and because I had a big paycheck, I had to play. I was forced to be in the field, and that, and everything, by whatever means necessary, get McCants to the field. People come to see him play. We don’t pay him to sit on the bench, not that kind of money. KEITH: My expectations, at twenty-one, were to get on the pitch and prove that I should have been the first choice. KEITH: If I had been physically able to do this it wouldn’t have been a problem, but I did it with the help of medication KEITH: after I had surgery and had to be there – down before the hour, it got worse and worse .. it got worse and worse. Then the pain relievers started to kick in, then the pain relievers (?) KEITH: I got hooked, I got junkie. KEITH:. I didn’t do as well as I should have done in the NFL, but I did pretty well, I did really well KEITH: Some people say I was a bust. Well, I play that, I play out of position, and I did it right, plus I did it on one leg. KEITH: but that’s when i had a breaking point, and when i jumped off the boat i broke my knee and i couldn’t uh, physically i couldn’t work anymore or keep a job. My body had deteriorated. I didn’t know it was degenerative bone disease, KEITH: and fifteen surgeries on this knee, four here, and (Sigh), and you know (Unclear) the, the bad days and the good days. That’s when depression set in and depression is the third-biggest killer in the world. I came home (hard to understand) by suicide and couldn’t trust. KEITH: In that state of mind, I was lost. I was – I didn’t know who Keith McCants was. I n-, I never knew I existed. If Keith McCants wasn’t important, I was just a human being in the world, trying to, think about it, trying to make it through to the next day. Wondering what I’m going to eat, wondering what I’m going to do, wondering where I’m going to get my next high, that’s what Keith McCants was. KEITH: I’ve been plastered all over national television – Keith McCants smokes a crack pipe in front of the police, Keith McCants pimp soliciting prostitutes, Keith McCants gets arrested again. KEITH: I’m not a good criminal. (Laughs) I’m not a real criminal. I just (unclear) got rid of my pain, and probably made it through the day, so I’m going to go on and do all of this. I would have bought drugs from the police, it didn’t matter I was in so much pain. KEITH: My mom stayed on her bed dying, I was locked in jail on June 1, 2011. I was locked up, I couldn’t get out, she died on June 1, I got out on June 3. KEITH: But I’ll tell you a story. When I was in Alabama jail, people didn’t even realize it, people didn’t even know, I was in jail. I hanged myself, KEITH: because I knew it was going to hurt my family. I didn’t want to be able to live with the pain. You know, when I say-, when I say you cover the pain, I’d rather be dead than go through this. I took my bed off, tied it to the-, to the shelf, put it around my neck, and hung myself. (Audio is muffled as he demonstrates) I fell unconsciously. Three weeks later I went to a recovery (unclear). Two, three weeks later, and this guy was up there. He said, Mr. McCants, you owe me a hug. I thought he was just an old Alabama fan. I said OK, I got you. I say OK, I think I know you. He said you don’t know me. I was like, OK, uh, uh I think I know-, when I got to him I hugged him, he hugged me real tight, and he said uh, now I’m gonna tell you where I know you-, you know me from. I’m the one who shot you down when you hanged yourself, and I prayed to God that you live, and you got up. (muffled),

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