10/03/21: A Guy Willing To Risk It All To Help Others

When anyone – public figure or average Jane/Joe makes a statement about ANY topic to a coworker, family member, friend, or on a large or small social media platform, they’re STILL subject to unfair scrutiny, if they’ve been open about a diagnosis.

Such has been the case in the last 24Hrs in a BIG way on a BIG stage. If you’ve been following @robinlehner40 at all on twitter (& if you’re not, you should), he’s become very vocal about how teams handle players’ health in the NHL.

The impetus was how his former team, the Buffalo Sabres, have a difference of opinion with their star, Jack Eichel, about what type of surgery he should get on his herniated neck disk.

Incredibly, the TEAMS in the NHL, per their CBA, have the right to choose a player’s surgery/surgeon, over the player themselves. Basically the team OWN’s the player’s body. In the CBA or not, this isn’t right. Players have an entire life to consider after their playing days end in their 30s typically. For reference pt: in the NFL, players get to choose their surgeons & surgeries.

So, Robin got on twitter – because he has a powerful platform there, & he opened up about how the NHL & the PA have been in the wrong in MANY instances: giving out benzos & ambien like they’re candy, to players, expecting players to play regardless of injury, etc.

No, these are not the types of things you typically see/hear from public figures. Why? Because you risk ramifications from the League & the PA for airing “company secrets.” But guess what – a guy willing to share – because he/she cares about their fellow players & wants change from “the way it’s always been,” even if it means they are taking a risk with their own career, should be applauded, not scrutinized.

But see, Robin’s been open about his bipolar diagnosis – which has led many on social media to post: “He must be manic to write this”… “He must not‘ve taken his meds.”

No, maybe he’s a guy willing to risk it all to help others. But the second you’re open, if you have a label/diagnosis, it’s used against you.

Gonna say this emphatically – if we don’t get away from the “1 in 5” & labels, & don’t instead hammer the mental health continuum we’re ALL on, this never changes.

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