Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of Aldon Smith's NFL suspension stemming from an August 2015 arrest on charges of drunken driving, hit and run, and vandalism. It also marks the first day commissioner Roger Goodell may grant his request to be reinstated. Smith applied for reinstatement to the NFL last month.
In a YouTube video posted Wednesday, the Oakland Raiders linebacker discussed how he has kept a positive attitude during his banishment. In the interview conducted by ElefitTV, Smith was asked what advice he would give others who are facing adversity.
"I'm going to speak for myself, because I'm in that situation," Smith said. "I won't take no for an answer. I won't be defeated.
"You have to understand that it's your life. You can't let anybody control it no matter what they try to do to you. Most importantly, God put you here for a reason, so make the best out of your life and your situation and be a blessing to somebody else and show the world what you're worth."
Jack Del Rio said earlier this month that he wanted Smith to focus on himself first before the Raiders coach would consider how he might fit with the defense if he is reinstated.
"Let's [help] this young man get his life in order first," Del Rio said. "And then if he can do that, then we can talk about football."
Smith reportedly entered a treatment program in the summer days after a Periscope video surfaced that purportedly shows an unidentified man and woman talking about a hand-rolled cigarette. Smith has denied it was him in the video.
Smith spent time in rehab in 2013 and served a nine-game suspension in 2014. He was cut by the San Francisco 49ers during training camp in 2015 after his fifth arrest since coming into the league.
The Raiders re-signed Smith to a two-year contract in April. He finished with 3.5 sacks in nine games last season and has 47.5 sacks in 59 career games.