“I chose not to hide. I’m a human being. I am not perfect.” Richard Sherman says black community faces mental health stigma, encourages other players to get help in wake of his arrest.

High off a practice with his new squad, it was great to see Richard Sherman excited and happy. The cornerback was glowing as he described how the Bucs aggressively pursued him and how a call from legendary Quarterback Tom Brady sealed the deal.

About half way in, the questions inevitably turned to the very public meltdown he experienced back in July. Sherman was arrested after a 911 call described him as being drunk, suicidal and threatening towards his wife and father in law.

Sherman was arrested outside his in laws house in Washington and charged with five misdemeanors, including two counts of domestic violence, criminal trespass in the second degree and malicious mischief in the third degree, resisting arrest, driving while under the influence and reckless endangerment of roadway workers.

He pleaded not guilty, was released without bail and is now receiving counseling and reportedly medication. Following the incident, he released a statement on Twitter saying he was “deeply remorseful” and “behaved in a manner I’m not proud of.”

At the Bucs presser yesterday, Sherman was open about his struggles and candid about how he’s trying his best to turn it into a positive situation for himself and others.

“Theres always a silver lining to everything,” Sherman said. “Obviously it was an unfortunate situation and regrettable but it led to some really positive changes. Some help, some therapy, some tools that I didn’t have before to address some things that you kinda let stack up in your mind. You never have time to address it. It’s not the right moment, it’s not the right time in your life to deal with these emotions and feelings and it really forced me to step back and go ask for help and get the help I need and not be afraid and be proud to ask.”

Sherman, who is a three-time first-team All-Pro, five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLVIII champion, now has a shot at another championship as he pairs with Brady but he also acknowledged he’s got a new responsibility.

” It’s been remarkable how many other people have said that they have the same issue,” Sherman said, embracing his new role as an ambassador of sorts for mental health. “Because you always feel like you’re alone, you always feel like ‘hey man, I’m the only one dealing with this and I don’t want to burden anybody else or I don’t wanna make anybody else deal with my problems.”

Sherman got specific when he discussed the struggles not only for himself but what he perceives to be a stigma for the black community at large when it comes to mental health.

“I think that at least in the black community, it’s one of those things that you’re never taught to do,” he said. “Taught to seek counsel, to seek help. You always feel like ‘hey man, I’ll deal with it, tough it out. Let’s get to the next play.’ In football terms ‘let’s get to the next play, next play, next play.’ If you give up a touchdown it’s like ‘next play, forget about it, I can get an interception.’ And the same kind of goes through in life. Something terrible or tragic happens in your life and you never really address it. You’re like hey I have to get better and keep pushing towards my dream so I kinda can’t deal with that now.”

Sherman continued, “Sorry, long story short, it ended up being a positive thing and I do feel like I have the support system in my wife, my family and obviously here we talked about it and they have a great team and a great staff that are very aware and helpful.”

A lot of players have also sought counseling because he has been open about his struggles, according to the NFL star.

“There’s been a lot of people who have dm’d me like ‘man I’ve been going through the same thing and I thought I was alone and I appreciate you kinda putting yourself out there,” he said.

“Obviously just being in the public eye it’s not like I purposely put myself out there but in those situations you can either take accountability and try to help as many people as you can, turn a bad situation into a positive situation or you can hide and I chose not to hide. I don’t hide and shy. It was unfortunate. I’m a human being. I’m not perfect. I go through ups and downs just like anybody else and that was a moment and I’m thankful that I was able to get past it and become better for it.”

Watch him talk about what’s next with the Bucs and his full presser here