NFL, teams offer support for players in crisis

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 06, 2012

ATLANTA - AUGUST 13: Antone Smith of the Atlanta Falcons is tackled by Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs at Georgia Dome on August 13, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Eds: APNewsNow. With AP Photos.) By DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writer In the final days of Jovan Belcher's life, he could have taken advantage of numerous avenues for support provided by the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL. There are hotlines established by the league that connect players, staff and their families with third-party counselors unaffiliated with the NFL or its teams. There are also numerous symposiums and support personnel whose jobs are to ensure the well-being of the players. But as many players suggested, having support available is only half of the equation. They must also take advantage of it, and that means a willingness to admit when they have problems. Said Chiefs offensive lineman Ryan Lilja: ''The resources the league and the teams offer are always good, it's just up to guys to take advantage of it.''
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