Thursday, June 30, 2022

Quality content

Delonte West highlights mental health failings

Share This Post

Former NBA star Delonte West was involved in a violent altercation yesterday that left him bloodied and beaten lying in the middle of the road. Despite a successful career, West has fallen through the cracks of a sporting culture that spares little time for mental health issues.

The former first-round talent played in the NBA for 9 seasons, making stops in Boston, Seattle, Cleveland, and Dallas. Diagnosed as bipolar in 2008, just 4 years after entering the league with the number 24 pick, West struggled to settle at any of the stops along the way.

His longest spell with a team, after his diagnosis, was in Cleveland where he played 93 games over 3 seasons. He was out of the league at 29 and has struggled with his mental health since his diagnosis. Delonte West was seen in 2016 in public barefoot and wearing a hospital gown, and later that year was seen panhandling. West denied at the time that he was homeless.

The latest incident for Delonte West

Video circulated on Twitter yesterday of West in a violent altercation with someone he apparently knew. Reports seem to suggest Delonte West started the incident but was then subjected to a violent beating. He was subsequently handcuffed and photographed by a police officer, with that picture also circulating on Twitter.

A number of Delonte West’s former teammates took to Twitter to offer their support, and to call for greater awareness of mental health issues. However, West’s condition has been known for a long time and the help he requires has been far from forthcoming.

The problem is that a great deal of lip service is paid to mental health issues in sports, but very little actually gets done from a practical perspective. Despite several high profile incidents including the suicide of 18-year-old British Snowboarder Ellie Soutter in 2018, little has changed.

At the time, Soutter’s father blamed the pressure on athletes for his daughter’s struggles. However, even this is an oversimplification. Athletes do have excessive amounts of pressure heaped on them in their sports, but they also have to deal with the same personal pressures as everyone else on top of that.

Delonte West was diagnosed back in 2008. That’s more than 11 years ago. For all the talk of his ex-teammates saying they will help him, he has been struggling with his issues alone for a very long time. Mental health is the silent killer that is being brushed under the carpet and only brought out when we have tragic incidents like these.

Until we as a society demand better mental health services for everyone, cases like Delonte West’s and Ellie Soutter’s with continue to pop up in our timelines. The sad fact is that most will forget about them in the coming days or weeks.

Mental health is a daily struggle for many athletes, and fans, and is something we need to address on an ongoing, daily basis. The FA this launched their own campaign this year to try and bring the issue more into the spotlight, however, much more still needs to be done.

For more like this, you can visit our NBA section here. Also, follow us on Facebook for coverage of the NFL and much more.

Share This Post

Want to stay up to date with the latest sports news and analysis?

We would love to hear from you! Please fill in your details and we will stay in touch. It's that simple!

Related Posts

Do the Atlanta Falcons have a plan at QB1?

The Atlanta Falcons have added Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder after trading Matt Ryan to the Colts.

But do they have a plan, or are they on a wing and a prayer?

The curious world of the Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are just one season removed from a divisional playoff game. But so much has changed.

NHL and Origins Of Ice Hockey

Today's NHL is a slick polished game of speed and power.

But where did it all begin?

Can you Bet on Sports in Pennsylvania?

Betting on sports is now fully legal in PA. Since 2019, the state has allowed all forms of sports betting, including retail and online....

Joe Burrow And The 6 Best Players Ranked On The Cincinnati Bengals

One of the biggest surprises that came out of the NFL this year is the boom in talent among the Cincinnati Bengals. The NFL...

10 Best Sacks During The 2021 Regular NFL Season

2021 has been a gold mine for sacks, but who was the best of the best?  A sack is when an offensive player acting as...

Hill, Saints find themselves at crossroads

With the Saints still in the playoff hunt, they are also looking to their future.

Is that Taysom Hill at QB?
- Advertisement -
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x