clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sebastian Velasquez reveals why he went to rehab

For the young midfielder, today's announcement took real courage.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this afternoon, New York City midfielder posted the following image to his Instagram feed. Take a moment to read it.

I Want To Thank All The NYCFC Fans, The Club, And The Staff And Especially Jason Kreis And Miles Joseph For Letting Me Be Apart Of The First Ever NYCFC Team! It's Been An Amazing Experience To Live In New York And Represent This Great Team! It Hasn't Been The Year That We Wanted And Especially For Myself But Im Proud To Say That With Your Support If The Fans And The Club, I Was Able To Beat A Substance That Controlled Me And I Was Heading Towards The End Of My Life. I Was Sexually Abused By A Family Member For 3 Years When I Was 5 Years Old And I Wasn't Able To Face This Trauma So I Abused Alcohol, No Drugs, Until I Went To The Team Found Me HELP! The Reason I Tell You Something So Personal Is Because It May Give Hope To People Out There That Are Going Through The Same And They Have Chance To Look For Help! Im Two Months Sober And Im Not Ashamed To Say It Anymore And I Feel So Great! It Has Changed My Life Completely And Honestly Ive Made It So Far In Soccer Even Though I Was Fighting This Battle Daily! I Know The Sky Is The Limit With My Soccer Life! I Thank You Guys From The Bottom Of My Heart Bc I Read Every Comment And Message As You Supported Me Throughout The Season And Especially Thru The Tough Time I Went Thru. I Wish You Guys The Best In The Future Bc The Fans Deserve It! God Bless And I Wish The Club And The Fans All The Best In The Next Season Because The Beautiful Part Of This Game Is That It Always Gives You A Chance To Get Redeem Yourself @nycfc #NYCFC #ThankYou #Goodbye #SV26

A photo posted by Sebastian Velasquez (@tian26) on

Done? Fantastic.

Here, we focus on soccer, and specifically on New York City FC. But sports doesn't exist in a vacuum. It can't, and it shouldn't. At both its worst and its best, it is a reflection of the society and the times we live in.

Sometimes -- okay, a lot of times -- players find refuge from their demons on the court and the field. Sometimes, that's all it takes. All too often, sadly, it cannot suffice.

For Sebastian, playing the sport he clearly loves wasn't enough. So he tried other ways to dull the pain he felt. We didn't know why he was in pain; only that he was, and that that pain clouded the real pain he felt in his life.

Now we know.

All I can say is: thank you, Sebastian. All I can do is salute your courage in sharing what happened to you, and wish you all the best going forward. Whether that's with the Blues or not, you'll always find a home here, Sebastian. What you did took real guts, and I hope we get to see what kind of player you really are now. We already know what kind of man you are, and it's someone that we'd really like to get to know better, and hopefully cheer as a Blue.

If not now, then someday again.