1/22/2021: When Professional Athletes Are Open About Their Struggles

Jordan Ibe is a Derby County winger, who previously played soccer (football ;), for Liverpool & most recently Bournemouth. Since joining his new team in September, he’s only played in 1 game. Then he released this statement, today.
Back to the articles & discussions on Kyrie Irving, we have to make this topic mainstream. Men & women who play sports should not have to hide, when they’re dealing w MH challenges. Why’s a MH injury treated diff than a physical health one.
Kyrie’s situation may be more “complicated” than Jordan’s bc he’s spoken about other things going on in his life. But…in his press conference after returning, he flat out said, MH was at play.
Why then, unlike in Jordan’s case, do we have to shy away from this discussion? Why was Kyrie’s designation still DNP – Personal, & not DNP – MH (not even an option). 
Jordan’s openness helped us take a big step here. “I’m facing a mental injury, just like players face physical injuries,” is essentially what he boldly said.  And this is great. Athletes SHOULD be able to say these things, & then society will follow in other places of work. Sports often leads the way bc of how public it is.
But a few other things to point out.  1) Jordan apologized (or in his case, apologized ;). Regardless of how you spell it, no one should have to apologize for MH. Imagine having to apologize for a broken leg! 2) We’re still at a place where we’re leading w disorder, almost exclusively, when a public figure does share. Details however are what normalizes things. 
While Jordan doesn’t owe us that…no one does…we do know a little back story here. He crashed his car, lost his license, has been unable to drive, & that along w the isolation of our current times has set him back to what he’s calling a “dark place.”
Hoping in these headlines, more & more are open to sharing not just the what, but the why. Way more relatable than the disorder label, alone. All-in-all, this is progress. Get well, Jordan.

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