Let me begin by saying I am no mental health expert. However, I do not believe former Lions wide receiver Titus Young is evil. I’ve always believed he is sick. This is not me trying to be politically correct and overlook his misgivings. I simply have known people with mental issues.
His behavior is consistent with theirs. I’ve spoken to Young on several occasions and enjoyed talking to him. He was funny. He had odd ideas and he even guaranteed that Boise State would beat Michigan State in football. That all changed when Nate Burleson was injured last season. Young’s disposition changed and my sources told me that Burleson was holding him together and made sure Young stayed on his medication.
When Burleson had surgery he was no longer able to watch over Young. That is when many of Young’s problems began. And he went from a good interview to a bad interview. I know a guy who mentored Young. He told me many months ago that Young was the sweetest guy in the world when he was on his medication. When he wasn’t Young would clinch a fist and threaten to kick my friend’s ass.
Let me take you back to my childhood. Mrs. Nelson lived two doors down. She was the sweetest woman in the world. She baked cookies for us. We sat on her porch and talked to her. But a couple times a month she got off her meds and she went on these long tirades and threatened to kill her husband. The police always came to calm her down. Now was she evil or just mentally ill?
My Uncle James took us fishing. He took us to White Castle and he helped neighborhood men fix anything. But now and then he went on rants about how the white man did him wrong and how he wanted to kill them. When he was on his meds he loved everybody and even had white people over to his house. So was he evil or was he mentally ill?
Our society does not want to deal with mental illness. We brush it aside as people making excuses for bad behavior. That is the case sometimes. That is not the case with Titus Young.