Mental health isn’t always an easy subject to talk about, but Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love did just that in a revealing piece for The Players’ Tribune earlier this year.
Love explained that he had a panic attack earlier in the season during a game and how it forced him to reconsider the way he looks at mental health. Love’s candor was met with an outpouring of support, including from then-Cavaliers teammate LeBron James.
Love explained to Carson Daly of “The Today Show” just how much James’ support meant to him:
“It was a special moment for me because we sat towards the end of the bus. He kind of said, ‘Hey, do you have a moment,’ he stopped me, shook my hand, looked me in my eye and said, ‘You helped a lot of people today. It’s important.’ That was super powerful for me because not only is he the best athlete in the world, the best basketball player in the world, but his influence and having my back with that was super important to me.”
James, who tweeted his support for Love following the release of his article, has long been involved in projects aimed at bettering the world. He is correct in telling Love that he helped a lot of people; probably more than he will ever know.
When Love and others that are looked up to step forward they help those who fear the repercussions of speaking up. After all, if a talented athlete can make his struggle with mental health public, that makes it easier for others to speak honestly about their own battles.
Now a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, James continues to be active in his community in his hometown, opening a public school for kids who are at-risk.
Being a professional athlete affords one not just the ability to live a certain lifestyle but also a chance to make a difference in people’s lives, and players like James and Love are doing just that.