Paul George became vocal about his mental health struggles after a three-game poor shooting slump, and other players opened up too.
Professional sports, in general, is a tough place to be in. Players are asked to be role models to society while staying at the top of their games. They are normal human beings too. They hurt and they struggle with real-life problems. As such, words thrown at them affect them the same way as a normal person feels.
Unfortunately, the topic isn’t talked about that much in major league sports. However, ever since Kevin Love wrote an essay about it, speaking out about mental health is slowly becoming normal.
Paul George just recently talked about it, and he has encouraged other players to speak up too.
Paul George shares his struggle on and off the court
Games 2, 3, and 4 between the Clippers and Dallas were awfully brutal for Paul George. The NBA fan base was rude and unforgiving to Paul George’s struggle on the floor. On social media, George got the nickname ‘Pandemic P‘. He failed to find his shooting stroke. As a result, he went into a slight depression. He said,
“Whether I was the first to say it or not, we’re all dealing with it [mental health problems].”
George shared that he consults the bubble psychiatrist to get professional help from all the negative words thrown at him. He’s happy that he’s encouraged other players to speak up. Danny Green of the Los Angeles Lakers also has had his fair share of hot words from the Lakers’ fan base. He hasn’t shot the ball well in the Lakers run. He said,
“Trust me, I know exactly what PG is going through. you have nothing but to look at your phone and social media all day and all they’re doing is bullying you.”
A long way for the topic to be normalized
While mental health issues have been opened up in the league, there’s still a long way for it to go. Doc Rivers knows this, and he said that it just has to be talked about more often. As it gets mentioned, it will become more normal for the players to speak out.
George also said that he isn’t shying away to admit to asking for help. He knew what to do so he turned to his teammates for some encouragement. It went a long way as PG found his Playoffs groove in Game 5 against the Mavericks. He will look to continue to pave this path on Game 6.
Image from Chris Smoove/ YouTube thumbnail