The day before Aaron Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau tee-off against Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson in the fourth edition of “The Match”, Rodgers took the time to talk about mental health, his perspective on mental health and how it has impacted his offseason.
In ESPN’s published recording of the conversation, this was the full quote on the topic:
“This offseason I’ve spent a lot of time working on myself. I think for a long time mental health has been only an ‘okay topic’ to broach if you’re talking about dealing with bouts of depression, suicide, like big issue topics with mental health. There’s been some weird stigma about it. I think there’s been some athletes who have spoken out about those things and got the support they deserve, but there’s not a lot of conversation around the idea of having a very positive mental health state. I think there’s a lot to it—that I’ve learned—that I’ve focused on the offseason about how to take care of myself. The total package, not just my physical self, the workouts, but my spiritual self with my own mindful practices. My mental health as well. What’s the best way to take care of that? And that’s what I’ve been doing this offseason. That’s why I’ve taken the time I have taken and done the things or not done the things I have done and I’m very thankful for that time.”
Ben Baby, who typically covers the Cincinnati Bengals for ESPN, noted another quote on the topic which was not included in ESPN’s published recording of the interaction:
“I haven’t dealt with bouts of depression or anything, that I think for whatever reason, are OK to talk about if you’re talking about mental health. I’ve just really been trying to think about what puts me in the best frame of mind. What habits can I form that allow me to feel most in my body, most present, happiest? And that’s what I’ve been doing.”
How this all fits into the context of Rodgers’ active holdout in Green Bay and wearing an “I’m offended” shirt in another press conference for The Match is as good as anyone’s guess, but Rodgers wants the world to know he’s been working on himself while everyone else is wondering which NFL team he will quarterback in 2021, if he plays football this season at all.
If you or someone you know are struggling with mental health, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-622-HELP (4357). The SAMHSA defines itself as a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.