If you look closely enough, the irony of certain patterns always reveal themselves.
Almost a day apart, 2 of the most contradictory things, in the world of MH (& sports) took place, that shone a light on just how far we’ve come…but also how far we need to go.
On these first 2 slides➡️, huge news & progress: Colorado Rockies Pitcher, Daniel Bard, started the season on the 10 day Injured List, w Anxiety. To my knowledge, it’s the first pro athlete to start a season on an IL, due to something MH-related (& at least be open abt it – bc we know for sure others have, & it was “marked” as something else).
If you go back to 2019 – Liz Cambage of the WNBA wrote an open letter in The Players’ Tribune, abt how it’s long past time that pro sports leagues had a designation for missing a single game: “DNP – MH” (or Did Not Play – Mental Health). We have DNP designations for “upper body injury” in leagues…but nothing MH.
It’s been 6 yrs since Kevin Love shared his MH journey as an active pro. Heck it’s been 10 yrs since the Rockets Royce White did the same…& yet still the leagues don’t have that designation? You may ask what they’re waiting for.
Well check out the next few slides. Legendary Mich State Bball Coach Tom Izzo in an interview the day AFTER the Bard openness, revealed his disdain for how college players are “using” MH as an excuse to transfer.
“This waiver thing. If you’ve got a hangnail, you get a waiver. I just don’t believe in that, bc I think somebody, whether it’s a lawyer, whether it’s agents, whether it’s people, they’re going to just come up w a different reason. Mental health is a big reason.”
And we wonder why more are not like Bard – coming out & openly sharing their struggles. What does a coach like Izzo (or Jim Harbaugh from a story Darren & I shared also in 2019) gain, by saying players are faking MH? That they get to complain & vent?
I’m an Izzo fan – but not of this move, at all. If anything players will AVOID going there, knowing his skepticism. And it keeps the shame cycle going.
Shared pics again of college athletes we’ve lost to suicide. Hope coaches will THINK abt THIS before talking.