Bettis, who will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month, said that he sold crack with his brother during his youth.
“The mind-set was, ‘We're in the hood. Mom and Dad, they're working their butts off. There's no money around. We need to make some money,’” Bettis said, according to the Free Press. “So we said, ‘You know what? Let's give it a shot.’ And it was one of those moments that you regret, but at the moment, that was the only thing that was really available to us.”
Bettis also said he had fired a weapon at someone.
“That was part of growing up in our environment, in our neighborhood. That wasn't out of the realm of normal. When you go back, it's nothing that I ever wanted to glorify, because I know in retrospect that it was awful,” Bettis said, according to the Free Press. “Here you are in a position to take someone's life, and that's never a good thing. And so as I look back on it now, I always see the wrongs that are in it and never want to bring light to it in that respect: that it was a good thing. It was the worst thing that I could've ever done. It was a bad decision, but it was the decision that I made and that I lived with at that moment.”
Bettis will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 8. Bettis will be enshrined alongside Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Bill Polian, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff and Ron Wolf.
The Steelers play the Vikings in the annual Hall of Fame Game the following evening.
- Stanley Kay