Clinical depression is real. A NFL leader brought it to light. To a certain television sports journalist, not so much.
Quote from Dak Prescott from Twitter page of David Helman, Staff Writer for the DallasCowboys.com
Everyone that knows me, knows that I am a Detroit Lions fan. I am officially now a fan of Dak Prescott too, but for an different and important reason.
Prescott and his family has been through a lot, and recently, it has been hard for his family dealing with the loss of his brother Jace to suicide in April. The response shown above was from Prescott when he was asked about if he gave any thought to the idea that leaders aren't supposed to show vulnerability. Prescott made it ok, literally gave those who are in the leadership position, to speak about clinical depression. The interview of him suffering from clinical depression was revealed in an interview with Graham Besinger September 9th. He spoke about the thoughts that he had during the time of the pandemic, issues with anxiety, his brother's loss, and how it challenged his emotions like never before. Prescott spoke about being upfront with the issues that he was dealing with in order to address the huge elephant that has been in many rooms since the pandemic and beyond.
"Mental heath is a huge issue and a real thing in our world right now, especially the world we live in where everything is viral and everyone is part of the media. [You] can get on social media and be overcome with emotions and thoughts of other people and allow that fill in their head when things aren't necessarily true--whether it's getting likes on Instagram or something being viewed or getting bullied or whatever it may be."
Skip Bayless is part of the media. A cohost on the popular show 'Undisputed' on FS1, he definitely displayed the wrong side of it when he spoke about Prescott's mental health acknowledgement on September 10th's morning show. He set the viewers up of how many of them were going to see him as "cold-blooded and insensitive", so in short, brace yourself for the foolishness he was going to spew. He spoke about how Prescott's clinical depression during the early stages of the pandemic, and even though he showed sympathy for Jace's death in April, he gave none when it came to Prescott because as a quarterback, "he's supposed to be a leader of men." Over and over, Bayless expressed his deep compassion for clinical depression, but what stuck me, as well as many who had viewed the show live or saw his comments on various sports sites, he went on to justify his argument: "The Sport that you play, it is dog eat dog. It is no compassion, no quarter given on the football field. If you reveal publicly any little weakness, it an affect your team's ability to believe in you in the toughest spots and it can definitely encourage others o the other side to come after you."
Foolishness. And the platform he has, this was his take about someone who was going, and could still be going though this? Have all these seats Skip.
Thank you Dak. Thank you for sharing that sometimes, it's okay to admit when you're not okay.
My Heard Take:
Anyone who has gone through or is going through depression knows that it is not an easy thing to deal with alone. Dak had said in his interview that he is a "people person", as am I. When my furloughed started March 18th, never did I image that now, early September, I'm still furloughed, but have sought help for my lowest points. I'm grateful for people who have checked on their friends and family and I'm heartbroken for those who lives were gone way too soon because they took the route to end their life. Skip may have the empathy of clinical depression, but he lacks the vision and knowledge of those WHO HAVE LIVED THOUGH IT! That right there is where is the respect level I had for him left. September 11th's show, he tried to clarify his remarks while the Suicide Prevention Hotline number was on the screen. Still did nothing to apologize to Prescott and his family for his remarks. I have personally spoke with many who struggled and still have with depression, mental health, and anxiety. I have talked to a person to not end their life and that shook me to my inner core. I will never stop supporting those who want to bring Mental Health to the forefront. Please check on your friends and loved ones and if you know someone who needs help please get them the help needed. Suicide Prevention Hotline number, available 24/7: 1-800-273-8255.