I’ve always watched the NFL Draft. I have spreadsheets and color coated graphs and it’s like a mini holiday in my sports filled world. (You should see me on the day the schedules get released 😂 That’s a whole nother colorful mess!!)
So this year wasn’t any different…. until it was completely different! It’s usually about the teams and the players, right? This year was so much more. The NFL devoted at least 20% of the draft coverage to discussing the importance of mental health throughout the league and the changes the league will be implementing to ensure that all (players, coaches, trainers) will receive the support they need. (And Deserve! I might add!)
THANK YOU NFL!! Can we all please follow this example? Schools, corporations, CEOs take notice! All you need to do is listen to what we all need more of in this world: compassion, safe spaces, and the ability to BE and FEEL without fear of judgment, labels, and repercussions!
And if you don’t know where or how to start, ask for support. (And watch the draft!!) Turn to the experts to help you create the safe spaces in-house companies. We’re willing, able, and we’ve been waiting a LONG time for these changes.
I also want to take a minute to thank the many players who are open and honest about their own struggles. The Dallas Cowboys…. my team, drafted Osa Odighizuwa. Remember his name for the game and his mind because both matter.
Chase Goodbread published an article on May 1, 2021 at https://www.nfl.com/news about Ofighizuwa:
“Mental illness struck Osa Odighizuwa’s family twice — first his father, then his brother. Now, it’s personal for the Dallas Cowboys’ third-round draft pick, who wants NFL locker rooms to be spaces where players in crisis can seek help. And he wants it to start with him.”
My man, QB Dak Prescott, already took a major stand last year after he lost his brother to suicide and spoke out publicly about his own anxiety and depression. Dak recognizes that he has a platform and he’s using it to make a difference! (Our paths will cross one day, I’m absolutely certain!)
Let’s follow these examples. Let’s use our voices. Let’s do our part! I’m Sam, and I have both anxiety and PTSD…. and rather than allowing the world to convince me this is a weakness, I’m here to tell you that it’s my biggest gift!