Everson Griffen apologizes, promises to return after reports of legal, mental health concerns

Everson Griffen reached out publicly for the first time on Thursday following a tumultuous week of reports <a href="https://sports.yahoo.com/vikings-everson-griffen-evaluated-hospital-weekend-incident-143247704.html" data-ylk="slk:regarding legal and mental health concerns;outcm:mb_qualified_link;_E:mb_qualified_link;ct:story;" class="link rapid-noclick-resp yahoo-link">regarding legal and mental health concerns</a>. (AP)
Everson Griffen reached out publicly for the first time on Thursday following a tumultuous week of reports regarding legal and mental health concerns. (AP)

Everson Griffen reached out publicly for the first time on Thursday following a tumultuous week of reports regarding legal and mental health concerns surrounding the Minnesota Vikings defensive end.

He released an Instagram statement apologizing “to everyone who was impacted” while promising to return as a “much-improved person and player.”

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Griffen reportedly involved in hotel incident Saturday

On Monday, reports broke that Griffen was involved in a Saturday incident at a Minneapolis hotel where he allegedly threatened to shoot someone.

He allegedly told the staff that if “someone wouldn’t let him into his room that he was going to shoot someone,” KSTP in Minneapolis reported.

Police disputed the report, telling the Associated Press that there was no belief of a credible threat from Griffen after they were called to investigate a threat of physical violence at the hotel.

“There was absolutely no indication that threat was credible,” Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder told the Associated Press. “There was no indication of a firearm. There was no belief that a threat was capable of being carried out at that time.”

Missed last week’s game for ‘personal matter’

Griffen missed last week’s game originally attributed to a knee injury. But Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told reporters after the game that his absence was due to a “personal matter.”

General manager Rick Spielman released a statement on Monday addressing Griffen’s status.

“We are aware of the situation involving Everson Griffen and certainly concerned by what we have heard,” Spielman said. “We are currently focused on Everson’s well-being and providing the appropriate support for him and his family.”

Griffen reportedly being evaluated in hospital

On Tuesday, multiple reports broke that Griffen was in a Minneapolis-area hospital being evaluated following Saturday’s incident.

ESPN reported that Griffen was “getting assistance on personal matters” while NFL Network reported that concerns for his mental health predated Saturday’s incident.

Troubling police report on Griffen’s mental health

The same day, Deadspin published a police report detailing concerns over Griffen’s mental health from player Vikings development director Leslie Pico.

From the report:

[Pico] stated that Everson is facing a possible divorce with his wife. Pico said that during practice this past week Everson has been explosive, screaming and yelling in the work place. Pico said that management sent him and his agent a letter on Thursday 09-20-18 stating he is not allowed back until he has a mental health evaluation. Pico said Everson has paranoia and has been repeating himself lately. Pico said that Everson called him on Saturday 09-22-18 and said he wanted to talk to him at his house. Everson then changed the location to Hotel Ivy in Minneapolis. When Pico got to Hotel Ivy, Everson forgot that he wanted to speak to Pico and didn’t want to talk to him. Pico said at no time did Everson make any comments about wanting to hurt himself or others. Pico said Everson is very smart about not making comments like that. Pico said that Everson’s speech is rapid and his conversations were irrational. Pico stated while the Minnesota Vikings want Everson to get a mental health evaluation, there is nothing that Everson has said or done that would rise it to the level where immediate action needs to be taken.

Pico said Everson is not a harm to himself or others. I told Pico at this point there isn’t anything I heard from him that is concerning where I need to go knock on Everson’s door and say “hey you need to go in.” Pico said honestly at this point no, there is no need for that.

Per the report, police eventually met Griffen at his home, where he agreed to go to a hospital via ambulance. According to the report, Griffen “got up and jumped out of the ambulance because he was in fear that someone was going to shoot him” before police talked him back into the ambulance.

Thursday’s statement is the first in public from Griffen since this week’s reports were made.

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