Ex-Patriots Receiver Malcolm Mitchell Says He’s Turning to Poetry to Help His Mental Health After Retiring From Football

Malcolm Mitchell joined the NFL in 2016 as a fourth-round pick for the New England Patriots. He spent two seasons with the team before retiring due to knee issues.

TMZ reporters recently caught up with Mitchell and talked to him about life after the NFL. He explained that in the time since he retired, he has turned to writing poetry as it has helped him transition from being a violent football player to an artist:

“It’s soothing. I was talking to a reporter the other day about the mental health aspect of retiring from something you’ve been doing your whole life. Like, imagine if you couldn’t do this anymore? You’d be stuck, right?”

In a short film Mitchell released about his many injuries, he explained:

“I should probably start when I broke my leg in seventh grade,. Then a torn meniscus in 10th grade. Another torn meniscus my sophomore year in college. Tag on an ACL and another meniscus. Fractured hip. And another knee surgery after that. And another one. Then another one. Then another one…

“I felt like I was forced to make a decision. It was either continue trying to play football or start living my life. And I made a choice. Reluctantly, you know? Those who know me say nothing. Those who think they know me don’t understand. Everything in my life has stemmed from football. Friends, some family, money, love, hope. What hurts is not what anybody will say or can say. It’s what I gotta tell myself about this phase of my life. That’s going to be the issue — what I tell myself. But what somebody could say won’t make me feel any better or worse than I already do.”

After retiring in March of this year, Mitchell focused on his writing. So far, he has released one children’s book titled The Magician’s Hat.