Skip to main content

Sports clip of the day: Ex-Viking Robert Smith discusses his alcoholism


With so much attention focused on the short-term and long-term effects of concussions for many NFL players past and present, not much is openly discussed about the addiction issues many pro athletes face.

Former Viking Robert Smith opened up for the first time Friday about the battles he has had with alcoholism.

Smith joined ESPN's Skip Bayless ostensibly to talk about the reinstatement of 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, who took a non-football injury leave of absence to check into an inpatient rehab program.

Robert Smith earned a reputation as a candid and articulate thinker, and he's especially so in this compelling interview, where he speaks matter-of-factly about his own addiction, relapses and the damage it's done to his family.

Smith, who was passed last year by Adrian Peterson as the Vikings all-time leading rusher, shocked just about everyone by walking away from the game at age 28 to preserve his health, something written about extensively just this past August in the News-Herald of northern Ohio. But Smith, who has also written a book on the pitfalls of sport and celebrity, has rarely opened up on this subject.

Next Up

Gopher Basketball

Michigan State hands Gophers first loss

The 19th ranked Spartans knocked Minnesota from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Chris Finch

Patrick Beverley returns but Jazz rout Timberwolves

The Jazz avenged last season's 0-3 record with a blowout victory.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings-Steelers: 5 things you can count on

After an embarrassing loss to the Lions, can the Vikings get it together?

snow, snowing

Winter storm watch expands north, includes parts of Twin Cities

Everyone in southern Minnesota will want to keep an eye on forecast changes.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

5-year-old boy fatally shot on Thanksgiving identified

Police said a few juveniles at the home were making a social media video when the gun went off.

PAMP travail 1

Pig Ate My Pizza will close at the end of the year.

Its leaders plan to relaunch and "get back to the humble beginnings of Travail."

flickr - criticla care nurses nov 2021

Allina parts ways with 53 of 27,000 employees over vaccine mandate

That's about 0.2% of the health care system's workforce.

US Bank Stadium, Vikings fans

Matthew Coller: How will Vikings fans react on Thursday night?

Will years of disappointment be revealed if the Vikings struggle against the Steelers?

dinner party holidays gathering celebration 1

Health officials encourage getting vaccinated and tested before the holidays

The state has launched a "Celebrate Safely, Minnesota" campaign to make it easier to get tested and vaccinated.

Kjellberg booking photo crop

Charges: Parking dispute, scuffle preceded fatal stabbing

The suspect said he was upset about neighbors and their friends regularly parking on his property.

Dave Hutchinson

Hennepin Co. Sheriff injured in rollover, admits to drinking beforehand

The sheriff, in a statement, called it an "inexcusable decision."

CDC - vaccine band aid

COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in MN dominated by unvaccinated

The latest figures from October show a disproportionate number of deaths among the unvaccinated.