This depression get the best of me…
— DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan) February 17, 2018
One tweet, that was all it took for the NBA to address the severity of mental health.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have joined forces to construct a mental wellness program for the league.
David Aldridge of NBA.com broke the news of the program Monday.
“The product of almost a year of discussions between the league and union that began as the sides were working out the new Collective Bargaining Agreement — will allow players to seek treatment and counseling outside of the framework of their individual teams, if they want.”
Aldridge, would go on to explain how the NBA and the Players Association are in talks of naming a Director of the program. He claims “the new director will have the authority and a significant role for players who seek his help.
” This is a rare time in sports history, athletes exposure exceeds far outside of just the NBA realm. Social media allows access to almost everyone’s personal life, making it easier to be more vulnerable.
Players such as Demar Derozan, Kevin Love, and even Kelly Oubre a 22 year old small forward for the Washington Wizards who says “that s–t is serious”. Oubre, the young man expressed to NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes and Chris Miller.
“I just go into a quiet place and breath, man. Just being mindful is the only way I know how to get through any anxiety, and depression or anything like that.”
One of the real problems the league has faced over the years is the silencing of players. Here are statements from two players in the David Aldridge piece for NBA.com, who faced issues with mental health while in the NBA.
… We’re told, don’t talk about it. Shut up. Suck it up. You’re a man. And we develop this condition of not being able to express our emotions.”
Maybe a player still does want to keep the anonymity … well, then, that’s up to the player. But don’t set the standard so that the players who would be up front, like me, are actually then persecuted for being up front.”