Athletes Speak Out On Mental Health

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Athletes Speak Out On Mental Health

Sterling Sellers, Journalist

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Mental health has become more of a factor in the interpretation of character than ever before. Society has recognized the importance of mental health in both the workplace and at home. Recently, athletes across the world have started a deeper conversation about the mental health of the world’s most recognizable stars.

      In an article for the The Players’ Tribune, NBA stars Kevin Love and Channing Frye opened up about their struggles.

      “One big thing I’ve learned from (Frye) is something I wanted to highlight in my article about mental health — that we’re all going through something, even if you can’t see it.”

      In his article, Love describes the incident that changed his perception on mental health – a panic attack during a game against the Atlanta Hawks on November 5th.

      “It came out of nowhere. I’d never had one before. I didn’t even know if they were real. But it was real — as real as a broken hand or a sprained ankle.”

       

      Love explains that athletes have a hesitation to talk about their mental health because of the common perception that athletes (especially males) are supposed to be “strong”, and aren’t supposed to talk about their feelings. 

      Love also explained that the panic attack was not the main issue, but rather his inability to understand why he couldn’t talk about his inner struggles. Shortly thereafter, Love began to see a therapist; an idea that he had once scoffed at. 

       “I remember when I was two or three years into the league, a friend asked me why NBA players didn’t see therapists. I scoffed at the idea. No way any of us is gonna talk to someone. I was 20 or 21 years old, and I’d grown up around basketball. And on basketball teams? Nobody talked about what they were struggling with on the inside.”

        Love isn’t the only NBA player talking about his problems with mental health. Toronto Raptors guard, DeMar Derozan outlined his own struggles in an interview with The Toronto Star.

       “It’s one of them things that no matter how indestructible we look like we are, we’re all human at the end of the day,” said the All-star.

 

        These statements represent a huge step forward for the athletes involved, and also the next generation of people who look up to these players. Seeing their heroes talk about issues that younger people struggle with will surely encourage discussion amongst the younger generation in regards to mental health.

       As more athletes come to terms with their mental health issues, hopefully the discussion will lead to a healthier mental environment not only in sports, but in the everyday lives of ordinary people.

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