It’s been five years since former Pro Bowl offensive lineman Shawn Andrews played with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he still harbors some very ill feelings when thinking about his time there and his treatment by teammates in the locker room, especially Donovan McNabb.
“It just felt like I was in a living hell.”
“I could be sitting in the players’ lounge with a group, having some laughs, and he’d get his say in so the attention can shift,” Andrews says. “He was the type of person that had everything in the world he could want, but that still wasn’t enough. He wanted the attention on him. There was a whole lot of that behavior. He wasn’t just that way with me. I’m thinking, ‘Every day I strap on my shoulder pads and helmet, I’m here to protect you.’
“[McNabb] was a big part of it — he was a big part of my issues there. Bully is a strong word, but he was degrading to me and spread rumors. It’s bothered me that I haven’t really spoken about it.”
He also said he was treated differently because of rumors that he was gay.
Andrews says the questioning and rumors became so great among teammates that he waited until everyone was out of the shower before he entered the shower, so as to not raise suspicion that he was looking at others. Either that, or he raced to a shower in the corner where he could face the wall and not be accused of peeping.
“If you want to question some one, I’d see guys in the shower talking face to face,” Andrews says. “If you want to go further, I’ve even seen a teammate piss on another teammate. They think it’s funny. They are having a conversation and the whole time one guy is peeing on him and the other doesn’t even know. This is the stuff that goes on, and I am the one having to defend myself. There were a lot of immature dudes on the team.”
Andrews admitted that he contemplated suicide and had to get psychiatric treatment, which led to the end of his 5-year stint in the city of brotherly love.
It’s important to remember that this is one side of the story, but it’s still unfortunate to hear things like this, especially when one contemplates suicide. I’m glad that Andrews sought help. He says he’s now over it and has found new loves in stand-up comedy and cooking.