Minnesota Vikings Player Sparks Concern Among Family And Teammates After Angry Outbursts And Displays Of Paranoia
The lineman jumped out of a van on a way to a mental evaluation that was ordered by the team.
September 26, 2018 at 3:06 pm
After weeks of strange behavior, a Minnesota Vikings defensive linemen was forced to get a mental examination in order to continue playing ball. Everson Griffen is said to have been increasingly paranoid and fearful that someone was trying to kill him. Things took a turn for the worst when he jumped out of an ambulance on his way to receive a mental health examination.
#Vikings DE Everson Griffen has been dealing for weeks with a serious, personal health-related issue, per sources. The team and his agents are helping him. A statement from GM Rick Spielman: pic.twitter.com/vfd3Vn8Yok
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 25, 2018
On Saturday, his paranoia lead him to threaten someone's life at a Minneapolis hotel. Although he was not suspected of a crime and left the facility on his own accord, the team banned him from playing until he received a mental health evaluation. Following the hotel incident, Kim Klawiter, the director of security for the Vikings, called the police to ask them to check on Griffen’s wife and kids at their home. When they arrived, they found the family's nanny in the driveway while Griffen's wife Tiffany as well as their children were waiting at a different location.
According to the police report, Tiffany said her husband has been acting abnormal as of late. She told police that last Sunday, he got up in the middle of the night and left. Tiffany said that he does this from time to time as he is fighting with “demons” in his head. The police report goes on to say that Everson was gone for three days. Upon his return, the couple began arguing and he left again and didn't return home until Saturday morning.
She added that she’d been taking a shower when he walked into the bathroom and strangely asked, “So who died?” and later said “I just want help.” Tiffany said he didn’t make any sense and asked him what he was talking about. He then told her to "get the f**k out."
Minnesota Vikings staff also said the player has been struggling and had sudden outbursts of rage over the past few weeks. Player development director for the Minnesota Vikings Leslie Pico said that he never spoke of harming himself or others. However, it was clear something was off. Finally, police met with him at his house and escorted him to the hospital. On his way there, he “got up and jumped out of the ambulance because he was in fear that someone was going to shoot him.”
Police convinced him to get back in the vehicle, and he is currently being evaluated and treated at a mental health facility.
Some believe this may have something to do with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease commonly found in athletes.
“We’re going to do everything we possibly can, not only to help Everson, but all of the players on our team, and not just them but their families as well,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday. “I’ve always loved Everson … He’s always been a good model for us and he’s going through some tough times right now. I just hope the best for him.”
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