Inspiring Others: APB’s Ryan Leaf shares his story on ESPN’s E:60
28 Sep 2017
ESPN’s revealing documentary profile of former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf is now available online. Sharing his descent from NFL fame to addiction, Leaf tells his inspiring story of recovery and dedication to helping others.
“I think you learn a lot about Ryan Leaf, you learn about his flaws, but you also learn about his resilience and strength,” said ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi, who chronicled Leaf’s life for over a year. “Hopefully we did it in a way that helps people understand more the plight of addiction and that it can happen to anybody. Even people who are suddenly multimillionaires and have been on the cover of ESPN The Magazine and Sports Illustrated.”
As an APB speaker, Leaf now dedicates his life to empowering those who struggle with mental illness and substance use disorders. “Change is one of the constants in life,” he says. “The question is: Are you changing for the better?” Leaf’s path to recovery was as rough as it gets, riddled with relapses and even a prison sentence. Now, he uses his platform to advocate for the importance of behavioral and mental health treatment as well.
Leaf recently addressed the University of Alabama football team and shared his story of addiction, recovery, relapse, and redemption. The team’s head coach spoke glowingly of his speech, saying, “Our goal with these young men is to not only develop them as football players but, more importantly, provide them with the necessary skills to be successful in life. It is with help from people like [Ryan Leaf] that we can feel confident about reaching that goal.”