Mental health in today’s society has thankfully become more and more of a discussion. As a whole, we have been willing to open up more and more discussing mental health struggles. After years of mental health not receiving the attention, it was needed especially within the sports industry. We have now reached an age in a society where it can receive that much-needed attention and athletes are not afraid to discuss their mental health.
In high schools, mental health has become of the utmost importance now, with most schools offering counselling and help throughout the day. In college athletics, most athletic departments have counsellors, therapists, and mental health specialists at the disposal of their athletes. Additionally, at the professional sports level, mental specialists and therapists are available at all levels of professional athletics. Caesars Sportsbook Massachusetts promo code is a good resource if you’re an avid sports fan looking to support any of your favourite athletes.
While mental health has become a bigger priority, many athletes still struggle with discussing their own mental health situations. Especially males, who in general society made up nearly 70% of all suicides in 2020 according to the AFSP. While a lot of great work and strides have been made, there is much more to go. That, however, makes it a much more noteworthy action that undefeated American boxer and former WBC interim lightweight champion, Ryan Garcia recently sat down with DAZN to discuss his mental health. Additionally, this discussion came just days before the biggest fight of Garcia’s young career.
In that interview, Garcia opened up about a variety of mental health issues including suicidal thoughts after stepping away from boxing following winning the WBC interim lightweight championship in January of 2021. That decision which happened just months later on April 24 was due to Garcia wanting to manage his well being including his mental health. He discussed that time of his life with DAZN saying, “I just had a lot of different thoughts, suicidal thoughts, I went through a tough time but I battled through it.”
Garcia would go on to say in the interview that he would begin to have glimmers of hope that would begin to let him have a clearer mind. He also attributes having to keep his body in fighting shape to helping keep a clearer mind as well.
Overall, Garcia’s willingness to open up about his mental health is a huge step for sports and the discussion of mental health in the industry. The sport of boxing is known to have a very macho man-like overall thought process, it’s a sport of war. Rarely does a boxer give an opportunity to show any sort of sign of weakness. Garcia’s promoter and boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya reiterated that sentiment in the interview as well, “It takes a lot of balls, a lot of courage, a lot of strength” De La Hoya said. “Everyone thinks you’re supposed to be strong, you’re supposed to bite the bullet. The time off obviously helped him to just reorganize his life, his head,” the former champion added.
In addition, the fact that Garcia was willing to do so, just days before the biggest fight of his career is a courageous act in itself. Hopefully, Garcia’s courage to discuss his mental health will just be another step for more and more people to feel comfortable talking about their own mental health struggles.
On Saturday, April 22, Garcia took on Gervonta Davis in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena in what was easily the biggest fight of the year thus far. The much-anticipated match-up brought out the who’s who of not just the sports world but celebrities as well. Davis stopped Garcia via a seventh-round TKO with a body shot. Garcia was hit with a devastating shot that saw a delayed reaction and he went down to one knee. He was visibly hurt with blood running from his nose. He was unable to stand up before the ten counts expired from the referee. Maybe Garcia was not ready for the big moment. In the press conference, he made no excuses and showed his mental toughness saying he would be back stronger and better in the future.
Jordan Wayne, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.