August 05, 2018
Newly-inducted Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins gave an impassioned speech Saturday night in Canton, Ohio during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony that touched on some of his personal struggles, his time with the Eagles, and why he feels so connected to Philadelphia sports fans.
Dawkins became only one of 10 safeties in the league to be inducted and one of only eight former Eagles to be honored.
His 22-minute speech was unarguably moving and emotional — he thanked members of the Eagles coaching staff (namely Emmitt Thomas and Jim Johnson) and his family (most importantly his wife, Connie) for saving his life and moving him forward in a career with the Eagles for 13 seasons.
Dawkins revealed earlier this week that he had suffered from depression during his days as an Eagle, and even contemplated taking his life.
"I just wanted to be in a dark room by myself with nobody," Dawkins told NBC. "My room, I won't say was a frequent occurrence, but it was something I would do. My faith back then wasn't that strong, so I listened to the other voice in my head, and that's where suicidal thoughts came in, and then actually planning out how I would go about it in such a way that Connie (his wife) and my son would get the money from my insurance policy."
Dawkins even made a shout-out to all of the Philly fans, thanking them for using time and money to come to the ceremony, attend games, and spend their time cheering him on.
“I know some of you drove all the way from Philly to be here,” he said. “Listen, I have a good understanding that you don’t have money just to waste. To know that you used hard-earned money you’ve been saving to come out here and celebrate with your boy, thank you.”
You can watch his entire speech below.