08/16/2022 Applaud the Pause

This is happening more & more w public figures – Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber…& in the sports world, the likes of Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, now a pro boxer like Adrien Broner. Is this is good thing? 

A famous sports broadcaster whose name I dont even want to mention – infamously stated when Andrew Luck (Colts QB) stepped away from the game to look after his health, that: “that was the most millennial move he’d ever seen.”

I can tell you having worked inside the pro sports world for yrs, w teams & leagues that one of the main reasons that these entities did not WANT to give validity to mental health, was fear that athletes would take advantage. Since you can’t see “it”: would athletes get guaranteed contracts & then just coast & not compete, & collect paychecks?

This is a very slippery slope to suggest such, publicly, & I think we need to take athletes at their word. Here’s the counter to that argument:

– How many retired atheltes who we see now, who were considered “warriors” for what they put their bodies through: Can’t speak clearly now? Have head trauma? Have a difficult time concentrating? Find it hard to walk? Have we lost to suicide? Have we lost to overdose? 

Listen, I get the warrior mentality. I loved being the guy growing up who would – true story – tear his ACL in a rec league game, & TAPE it up myself, w white medical tape & try to play in the rest of the game before the knee collapsed. 

But when you see the risk folks put on themselves – in the competition (imagine Simone Biles had continued to do flips when her brain/body connection was off like that), or even what it can produce later in life, it’s better to be safe. 

Awards & titles & legacy are amazing things. But at what expense if someone is truly struggling? Would you trade 30-50, maybe more yrs of life, or even just healthier life, just to get the title or medal? Especially when you can STILL go after it, later, if you rehab back? 

As Powerade aptly put it in their March Madness ads: we need to “Applaud the Pause.” If it means coming back healthier & stronger – for competition or even just life, later on, it’s the right choice for many.

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