View Full Version : Curtis Martin bares his soul in HOF speech

08-05-2012, 12:02 PM
In his Hall Of Fame induction speech, Curtis Martin bares his soul about the violence he grew up in...

...I grew up in a pretty bad neighborhood. But the household that I lived in was even worse. I had a father who I love him dearly and he's passed and gone on, but he was my guy before he died. But when I was 5 years old, I remember watching him torture my mother, I mean, literally. I don't necessarily have notes, so I'm going to bare my soul and just bear with me.

But I remember watching him torture you. He had my mother locked in the bathroom. Had her sitting on the edge of the tub, and he turned on all the hot water and stopped the tub up so that the hot water would eventually flow on her legs. He dared her to move. As the hot water flowed up and started going on her legs and going on her feet and she would flinch a little bit, he would rush into the bathroom, take her hair and burn it with a lighter. He would come back out, watch her some more, she'd move again, and he would go in there with a cigarette and put cigarette burns all over her legs which she still bares to this day. I've seen him beat her up like she was a man. I've seen him throw her down the steps. I've witnessed this woman go to they got a bet on whether I'm going to cry or not. So I'm going to hold it in.

I've watched my mother get punched in the face, have a black eye and then go to work with make up on just to support our family. I've watched this. She did everything to raise me and in hindsight when you're a kid and your mother's tough on you, you don't necessarily understand why. I used to think it was because my dad was so tough on her that it would just naturally make her tough on me.

I heard a saying one time that says, “Hurt people, hurt people.” And my mother was dealing with so much hurt and pain, and I know that she had to take some of that out somewhere. Mom, I'm so grateful that I was there for you to even take some of that pain out on, because you deserved it.

By the time I was 5, my dad was gone. My mother, because we couldn't afford it, she would work two and three jobs. She tied a shoe string around my neck with a key and taught me how to come in the house. I'd come from kindergarten and first grade almost for two years and stay in the house by myself till like 9:30, 10:00 at night, and my mother said it broke her heart every single day walking up those steps. We lived in sort of a low income housing project type environment, and I would always be sitting in that front window because I was scared.

So I was so petrified of being in the house by myself. I didn't even watch "Scooby Doo". I was that scared. The ghosts on "Scooby Doo" scared the heck out of me.

But my mother made a way for me to start staying in between her and my grandmother. When I was 9, my mother, she walks into my grandmother's bedroom and found her murdered. Found her murdered with a knife in her chest, and her neck was broken and everything, eyes wide open, blood everywhere.

And for me as a little kid, all the other family, they come in and you hear the whispers from adults as a little kid, and they affect you a certain way. I just heard everyone saying, “If that happened to me, I would go crazy. I would lose my mind.” For me, crazy was kind of like what my dad was. So in my mind, as a 9 year old, my mother told me the only thing that got her through that was I came up to her and grabbed her hand and said, “Mom, are you going crazy?” And she looked down at me and said, “No. Why do you ask me that?” And I just said, “Well, that's good because if you go crazy, nobody's going to be here to take care of me.” I'm so grateful to my mother. That is the strongest individual that I've ever known, and I appreciate her so much.

If all those things and the story gets better. But just for right now, just entertain me. If that wasn't enough on my mother. When I was 13, her sister, who was like my other mother got killed and died an even worse or more painful death than my grandmother did. Even through that, my mother stayed strong and raised me.

By the time I was 15, growing up in the environment that I was in, I had so many brushes with death. I remember one distinct time a guy had a gun to my head, a loaded gun to my head, pulled the trigger seven times. God's honest truth, the bullet didn't come out. He wasn't pointing the gun at me and pulled the trigger and a bullet came out. I was too young to even recognize that God was saving my life...

excerpt, read complete transcript here: http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=299&tab=Speech

Video highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV6ZVDgbSAs

08-05-2012, 12:20 PM
I thouhgt the parts where he admitted that he really did not give a darn about football were a greater admission.

08-05-2012, 12:40 PM
I'd like to see his and his mother's story made into a movie. Inspirational.

Double Barrel
08-07-2012, 10:12 AM
Wow. I heard about the speech, but reading it in it's entirety is moving on many deep levels. Just amazing story and HOF speech.

08-07-2012, 01:45 PM
Wow. I heard about the speech, but reading it in it's entirety is moving on many deep levels. Just amazing story and HOF speech.

Likewise. Equally impressive that it was impromptu. That has to come from the heart. A very moving speech indeed.

And he has a pretty wife. :)

Double Barrel
08-07-2012, 02:48 PM
Likewise. Equally impressive that it was impromptu. That has to come from the heart. A very moving speech indeed.

And he has a pretty wife. :)

I'm going to watch him giving the speech when I get home tonight. Like you said, impromptu and just a train of thought.

I have never given Curtis Martin much thought. Just a football player. But now I see him in a completely different light, much more than just a football player. His confession about his feelings for football were something we don't hear from HoF players. Honest and straight from the heart. He was not trying to impress anyone, but just telling it like it is.

And he took care of his mom. Much respect.

08-07-2012, 03:04 PM
Impressed the heck out of me.

Him saying he was grateful to receive some of the pain his mother passed on to him from the torture she endured from her husband ..... wow, this is a man.