Look at the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, just all of the professional sports and tell us if you think that all of them are riddled with mental illness. Most of you raised your hand in agreement that they are definitely suffering from some mental issues. For me, the first poster child for mental illness that I think of that was in professional sports is Dennis Rodman. But, we have some newer cases as well.
How about Metta World Peace, formerly Ron Artest and his anger issues? There are some issues going on in the league that have not been properly addressed and Royce White is bringing attention to it. He plays for the Houston Rockets. Well, he used to play for the Houston Rockets until he was semi-benched for mental issues with anxiety disorder and a fear of flying.
He was sent to the D-League which is the Rockets’ affiliate team in the NBA developmental league, which is akin to baseball’s minor leagues, when he returned from a three-month hiatus to deal with mental problems and his “disapproval of how the Rockets addressed his condition,” according to the Huffington Post.
White went to the Dr. Phil show and discussed his problems with mental illness and now he’s talking to HuffPost Live Host Marc Lamont Hill about the league and mental illness. Hill asked him if he thought he was being punished by being sent to the D-League, but White doesn’t completely see it that way.
“If I was to make an educated guess, I would guess that Adam Silver and David Stern and the Rockets organization, some other owners in the league, GMs, want me gone. And why do they want me gone? Because business is about convenience, not about doing what’s necessary. It’s about cutting overhead… And a lot of times, what’s best for us as human beings doesn’t meet that criteria for business people.”
White also gave the statistics on society’s problems with mental issues saying that “26.8% of American will have a diagnosable mental illness.” And the NBA, as well as other professional teams, are not exempt from those facts. The problem White wants to bring to the surface is how professional sports deals with those issues. He also talked with Hill about how other team members were interested in taking a bus because they also fear flying.
This is an undeniable problem that may end his career and others if the proper action isn’t taken to help them with their issues. Should the professional sports teams be required to take care of their athletes or should future athletes with mental issues expect to be exempted from professional sports?
Check out the interview.