The Culture Report.
Dak Prescott Opens Up About His Mental Health
Over the last three months, I've learned that if you want to actually find interesting news around culture & mental wellness, it's incredibly difficult to find. If you search mental health, you're going to get a million different blog posts and random articles, and probably won't find something you're interested in until page 10 of the results. To speed up the process, I usually start by narrowing the results by looking at mental health in the NBA or NFL.
However, unlike other sports this summer, there hasn't been much conversation on the topic around the NFL.
“I stated feeling emotions I’ve never felt before… I didn’t know what I was going through.”
Enter Dak Prescott.
On Sept 10th (World Suicide Prevention Day), the Cowboys QB opened up his mental health experience earlier this summer as a result of the suicide of his older brother, Jace, in April and the pandemic. The 7-minute clip is from an upcoming interview with Graham Besinger and is a must-watch.
It was incredibly powerful to hear this story from Prescott. He's the captain and QB of the most valuable sports team in the world and is currently in negotiating a contract to become one of the highest-paid players in NFL history. Yet when he was feeling down, he had no idea what to do or where to turn.
How the Sports World Responded
After the clip went viral, Prescott received a ton of support from the sports world. Stephen A Smith opened up about his mental health journey on First Take the next day, detailing his own mental journey after his brother passed away in 1992. Lindsey Adler opened up about mental health in The Athletic.
There were also public responses from DeMar DeRozan, Adam Schefter, Kevin Love, Jay Bilas, NBA Player Meyer Leonard, Jerry Jones, Coach Mike McCarthy. Even now, it's incredible to search Dak Prescott on Twitter and see so many people with checkmarks showing support for him.
However, this response was not the case everywhere, and later that day, Skip Bayless called out Prescott, claiming he wasn’t a leader for discussing his mental health. Skip has made a living off of being the pundit that makes outlandish takes.
While an ignorant statement like this may have gone unnoticed years ago, the sports community didn’t let this go unnoticed, and it exploded on Twitter. In a statement Thursday night, Fox Sports came out saying they disagreed with Skip Bayless
On ESPN, Scott Van Pelt fired back for his 1 Big Thing Thursday night, saying that people who aren’t compassionate for Prescott aren’t “worth your time, or your concern.” Even KFC from Barstool chimed in on the issue, ranting about Skip and calling Prescott a hero for standing up about his mental health.
It’s disappointing that Skip’s comments are in any way detracting from the real story of Prescott's mental health journey, but I think this moment highlights how people today are so sick of comments like that.
We are done hearing this BS that you're not tough for having these kinds of experiences. Talking about mental health takes tremendous courage, and you can still be a beast on the field and go through mental health challenges just like everyone else.
Demi Lovato x Marshmellow x Hope for the Day
Yesterday, Demi Lovato and Marshmallow announced a partnership the Hope for the Day, a non-profit looking to increase the conversation on suicide prevention and mental health education. The two released a song entitled “OK Not to be OK” and dropped a music video as well.