Mental Health

Who’s Mental?


What if you are athletically gifted but not really good with public speaking?

There are people who are uncomfortable in a crowd, talking to strangers, are shy, or are just bad interviewees. You can argue over who was a better boxer, Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali, but there’s no question who was better with the press.

We look at athletes and see them making millions at their jobs, and when they compete for a championship, we expect more out of them.

We believe since athletes are being paid millions, they owe us. But the truth is, they don’t.

It is a perk when an athlete is able to speak to the public. It’s a great bonus when an athlete can use hir or her position, like LeBron James has, to advance social issues and helps his or her community. It’s especially valuable to the media. Some teams and leagues require their athletes to be available to the press at designated times. Some athletes are not prepared for that kind of pressure. New Orleans Saints running back Ricky Williams was so shy, he would give interviews while wearing his helmet. He was also a person who suffered from social anxiety. The attention his athletic abilities attracted actually hurt his career.

Back to LeBron James, who has refused to reveal whether or not he has been vaccinated, citing his privacy. He has a right to his privacy but he may have put the pressure on himself after being very outspoken on other issues. Where do we draw the line? Also, he should really get vaccinated and use his position to promote it, but that’s just me.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka planned to skip post-match press conferences at the French Open, where she was a favorite to win. She revealed she is suffering from depression and being pressured with multiple questions after hours of physically competing against the best in the world wasn’t appealing to her. After arriving in Paris, she made it know she wouldn’t be doing the press conferences. In response, the Grand Slam Organizations fined her $15,000 and threatened her with suspension which could have prohibited her from playing the French Open, the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, and even Wimbledon. In response to that response, Osaka walked away from the French Open.

She apologized, especially to the press who had been “cool” with her in the past, admitting her wording and timing could have been better…but she owned her power and asserted control for herself. After Osaka received support from other athletes, that same association that fined and threatened further punishment commended her for coming forward about her struggles with mental health and pledged to improve the players’ experience at their events. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Why didn’t they talk to her about it before they fined and threatened her?

These people care about other people about as much as Ron DeSantis cares about trans athletes.

DeSantis and his fellow racist Florida Republicans have been busy haters. They created new laws making it harder for black people to vote. The made a law making it legal to run over black protesters with your car. Then, they made it illegal for transgender females to compete in school sports.

Someone on my Facebook page wrote Republicans are really good at solving problems that barely exist…if they exist at all, from voter fraud, to trans athletes, to Mr. Potato Head, etc.

DeSantis said, “In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports.” He signed the bill at Trinity Christian Academy, a fundamentalist prep school preparing America’s future right-wing zealots. When he signed his hater-voter bill, he did so live on Fox News while barring other media outlets. He also signed it on the first day of Gay Pride Month. A similar law is on the books in Idaho and there are measures to duplicate it in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

The NCAA, which requires transgender women to get treatment to lower their testosterone levels before they can compete in women’s sports, said it would commit championship games to “locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.” Guess what. That’s not Florida.

Originally, there was language in the bill that included a requirement transgender athletes in high schools and colleges undergo testosterone or genetic testing and submit to having their genitalia examined.

Basically, DeSantis is taking sports away from kids. Republicans are making an art out of cruelty. Donald Trump is to blame for this pattern that requires one to be as vile and ugly as possible to be a Republican.

Athletes are not required to be totally open with us because they’re not public servants. Politicians like Ron DeSantis are public servants we pay.

I’m less concerned about them being boy, girl, or trans, and more concerned, especially with regards to Republicans, whether or not they’re actually human.

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Mental Situation


We’re told by conservatives that we can’t question the mental state of Donald Trump, no matter what crazy crap comes out of his mouth. Yet, Trump can declare someone else mentally unstable.

I’m sure the guy who killed 26 people in a church in Texas with an assault rifle is disturbed but isn’t anyone who has to overcompensate by owning a rapid-fire weapon kinda messed up? And, for you gun-nuts who claim there are no such things as an “assault” rifle, yes there are. The only purpose for an AR-15 is to kill people.

But, let’s focus on Trump’s argument that this is about mental health and not a problem with guns. With that being the case, what are you going to do about it? Oh, yeah. Not a damn thing. They haven’t done anything about bump stocks yet. Still, too soon?

One of Trump’s first acts as president was signing a bill revoking Obama-era gun checks for people with mental illnesses. So, President Dipshit…if mental health is the issue then why are you making it easier for them to purchase assault rifles?

When a brown guy kills eight people by running them down in a rental truck, we got immediate proposals from Trump. Let’s ban Muslims from specific nations. Let’s do extreme vetting. Let’s have law enforcement stalk mosques. Let’s ship them off to Guantanamo and then give them the death penalty. But, a white guy shoots up a church or a concert in Las Vegas, and Republicans can only offer thoughts and prayers. In case you haven’t noticed, the last shooting was in a church full of thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers are a nice gesture, but they’re empty gestures.

The thing about the gun nuts that can drive me crazy is their reaction to shootings. Each and every single time this happens their first concern is for the guns, not the victims. The gun culture lacks empathy.

Right now, the narrative is about the guy who shot at the shooter with his own AR-15. They credit him for preventing more deaths. The problem with that narrative is it’s not accurate. The shooter had spent all of his ammunition killing 26 people, which the “good guy with a gun” didn’t prevent. The one question not being asked is: Instead of chasing the shooter down, why didn’t the good guy go inside the church to see if he could save anyone from bleeding to death? Was that not macho enough?

Now, I’m hearing people boast how they’re taking their guns to church and everyone who prays with them will be safe. Not if a shooter shoots you first, asshole. People who boast about that on the internet aren’t the kind of people who want packing assault rifles where you take your children. First, they want macho points for having a gun. Second, you’re just supposed to trust that they’ll know how to respond to an incident. If Texas is an example, they get there right after 26 people are dead.

More guns are not the answer. We don’t just need reinforced background checks. We need to get assault weapons out of the hands of killers and wannabee Rambos.

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