Nearly a year ago, NBA player Jason Collins did something no other male professional athlete for a major American sport had done before: he came out as an openly gay man.
Now, the 35-year-old center has signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets and made history again last night (Sunday, February 23, 2014) by playing in the first NBA game with an openly gay player on the court: the Brooklyn Nets vs. the L.A. Lakers.
(The Nets won, by the way.)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a guest post by Michael Corbin, hardcore Bears fan and mental health advocate. Corbin is the creator of everyminute.org, a grassroots campaign uniting advocates, mental health professionals and organizations into a single coalition creating a public forum advancing the need and benefit of increased mental health research.)
I grew up in a rural town south of Chicago, and I have been a Bears fan my entire life, and as we Bears fans know, there’s a certain dominant, smash-mouth style of play we expect on the field and in fashion.
This week wide receiver Brandon Marshall took a tough stance in a different fashion than most fans are used to:
He announced he would be wearing lime green cleats in his October 10th game against the New York Giants as a way to attract attention to Mental Health Awareness Week.
It’s a sad day for NASCAR fans and the family of racing legend Richard “Dick” Trickle.
On Thursday, May 16, 2013, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department received a phone call informing them they’d soon find the dead body of the 71-year-old “White Knight.”
Upon investigation, authorities found Trickle dead from a gunshot wound outside his pickup truck at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Boger City, NC.
According to reports, authorities believe the phone call came from Trickle himself, and Sheriff’s Lieutenant Tim Johnson has stated they do not suspect foul play.
Yesterday (April 29, 2013), Washington Wizards center Jason Collins announced he was gay, making the 34-year-old NBA star the first male professional athlete for a major American sport to openly come out.
It’s 2013, but who’s counting? Like the majority of the country (with the exception of NFL player Mike Wallace, perhaps) am proud of Jason Collins. I applaud is bravery and look forward to how his honesty might affect the game and its fans.
I didn’t used to be such an advocate of celebrities (including athletes) “coming out.”
Not because I thought they shouldn’t, but because I thought they shouldn’t feel like they have to.
So, by now you’ve probably heard about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and his Fake Dead Girlfriend.
I wish I was writing this post because I had some sort of answer or way of making sense of it, but I don’t. Like a lot of people, I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the situation.
One thing I do know is that I don’t think there’s anything funny about any of it.
While it might feel like it all happened at once, what recently came to light as a hoax actually started years ago.
On Saturday, December 1, 25-year-old Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kassandra Perkins, before driving to Arrowhead Stadium, thanking the general manager and head coach for all they’d done for him, and shooting himself, effectively completing suicide.
Naturally, the Internet is frantic, scrambling to report news about the murder-suicide. Belcher wasn’t the most well-known NFL player, but the situation is absolutely tragic and people are curious.
Belcher was wealthy and famous, after all. He’d been a member of the Male Athletes Against Violence initiative during his time at the University of Maine, and he had a degree in child development and family relations. He and Perkins had just welcomed a baby girl into their lives.
Since Saturday, I’ve read and listened to some speculation among the news reports, and I thought it’d be appropriate to share my thoughts on some of the indisputable facts about the situation.
Given all the sports-related (and especially NFL-related) health issues in the news lately (Greg Montgomery, Junior Seau), I thought Celebrity Psychings readers would be interested to know that the National Football League has launched NFL Life Line.
NFL Life Line is a free and confidential support hotline for members of the NFL family, which includes current and former NFL players, coaches, staff (for the team and league), and their family members.
Organizations involved with NFL Life Line include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Jed Foundation, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the Education Development Center, and Link2Health Solutions.
U.S. gymnast Shawn Johnson hopes to make a comeback after her gold and silver wins back in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but the 20-year-old woman has an entirely different attitude about the equipment she uses to compete.
Namely, her body.
Johnson gained around 25 pounds during her three-year break after Beijing. It’s no surprise. She went from being a medal-winning Olympic gymnast to a regular teenager.
Yet, the media – which was used to seeing her with next-to-no body fat – went wild.
In light of the tragic suicide of former NFL linebacker and Hall of Famer Junior Seau, Dr. Teena Shetty and NFL All-Pro and nine-year veteran punter Greg Montgomery, Jr. spoke with Fox News last week about a possible depression epidemic in professional sports.
The two hot topics on the table?
Both the physical and the emotional impacts professional athletes endure.
Dr. Teena Shetty, a neurologist who also works with the New York Mets and the New York Giants, points out that without a clearly documented concussion history, we can’t make a real connection between any concussions Junior Seau had and the state of his mental health.
She does, however, point out that concussions to upset the chemical balance in the brain and that repeated disruptions “may lead to depression.”
On Friday, the White House announced that legendary women’s basketball coach Patricia “Pat” Summitt will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of America’s highest civilian honors.
Summitt, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease in 2011, launched The Pat Summit Foundation Fund to provide grants for nonprofit organizations that provide Alzheimer’s education, support, and research.
Last week, Summitt stepped own from her role as the head coach for the Tennessee Lady Vols last week with 38 seasons and 1,098 wins under her belt. She is now head coach emeritus.
President Obama praised Summitt for her hard work and success, both as a basketball coach and an advocate for curing Alzheimer’s:
Coach Summitt is an inspiration, both as the all-time winningest NCAA coach, and as someone who is willing to speak so openly and courageously about her battle with Alzheimer’s.
Learn more about The Pat Summitt Foundation Fund.