Among many major NBA storylines over the past year, few have has as many real-world implications as that of players speaking out about their mental health. DeMar DeRozan and Kevin Love notably spoke about their struggles with depression and anxiety.
But players are not the only ones showing their vulnerability. Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss spoke to Sam Amick of the Athletic about her own struggles and how she copes with mental health issues:
“This is the first time I’ve talked (about it),” Jeanie explained. “I knew that once I did the comedy, and I posted it, and people knew that was something I was doing, I’d be asked about it. And I thought it was a good way for me to bring up how comedy is a way for you to talk about the things that are bothering you. And that’s what therapy is.
“I’m somebody who has benefitted from therapy. There is no stigma there. You can be a successful executive and admit that there are times that you have to deal with things where it’s helpful to be able to talk in a safe space, in a group therapy session, or in a private session, just talking to people to help you process the things that sometimes seem so overwhelming that if you can talk, then all of a sudden they seem manageable and you can move forward past them.”
The NBA has been known as the most progressive league in the NBA and it has created measures to help players dealing with those issues. It’s obviously not the same for regular people handling mental illnesses (read: they have a lot more money) but influential athletes and other figures involved around sports speaking about issues that plague many others can be very inspiring. Buss has spoken out about a lot of social issues in recent months, elevating her status as arguably the most progressive owner in the league.