For Pete's Sake

Former K-State star Tyler Lockett shares powerful poem on suicide prevention

Tyler Lockett performing his poem.
Tyler Lockett performing his poem.

Let this be another reminder that despite their fat paychecks, professional athletes face many of the same worries in life as the rest of us.

On Friday, Seattle Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett, the former Kansas State star, shared a video of him performing a poem he wrote about suicide prevention. Lockett said that a friend he has known since the fifth grade was thinking of taking his own life.

It’s not clear where Lockett was sharing the poem, but it’s really powerful. The title is “Turn Off The Lights.”

Here are some of the stanzas of the poem, starting with Lockett trying to identify with what his friend is going through:

“Turn off the lights, turn off the lights,

“He don’t want y’all to see what’s going on in his life

“Turn off the lights, turn off the lights,

“So I can see what living in the pitch black is really like

“Because my bro is in the dark and he’s been falling apart...”

Later, Lockett wrote about the helplessness of not being able to help his friend and being afraid when he doesn’t hear from him.

“We’re waiting for a text back, because he’s eight hours away

“And if we don’t hear from him, we afraid that he took the pills

“And if he did, then life about to get real

“And I don’t think he understands how a part of us feels

“Because if he takes his own life, a part of us is going to be killed

“And if he is going to be gone forever, we’re going to have to take care of his kids

“So we need to turn on the lights, turn on the lights

“So he can see everything that’s important in his life.”

That’s powerful, and it’s just a part of the poem.

Have you ever seen or heard of a professional athlete sharing those kinds of feelings?

Here is the full poem:

Here is a link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. That phone number is 1-800-273-8255.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff