Oct. 10, 2019 – It was just really cool that somebody went out of their way to have that made,” said Waller, who keeps the coin in his backpack. “That was incredible. People that are fighting the same fight as us. It’s a serious thing. It’s a brotherhood. It’s a sisterhood. We try to look out for one another, and that was just a small token of it. You learn how to be generous in recovery, so that was incredible.”
The Raiders’ tight end’s story of addiction and recovery went viral when “Hard Knocks” cameras followed him to a meeting. He discussed the drugs he was hooked on — “opiates, Oxy, pills, stuff like that, Xanax, cocaine” — and how as a sixth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, he was limited to a combined 16 games since the start of the 2016 season due to failed drug tests.
Waller said he began taking pills as age 15.
“Sophomore year in high school,” he said. “It was in a friend’s medicine cabinet, and you like the feeling of it, you keep doing it, and for me, I wasn’t as anxious, I wasn’t worried about what everyone thought of me. It was a numbing tool. I don’t want to feel all these things I’m feeling. That’s how I started.”
How bad did it get?