“AFL star Mitch Clark has posted a graphic image on Instagram to reveal the horrifying abuse he suffers at the hands of trolls about his mental illness.
Clark, who plays for Geelong, has been outspoken about living with serious depression and took a lengthy spell away from the game to deal with his health in 2014.
He has become an ambassador for mental health in the game and offered support to the likes of Lance Franklin, who similarly stepped away from AFL late last year.
But this weekend Clark shared a shocking picture on social media that was sent to him, featuring what appears to be a photoshopped noose around his neck.”
When the masculine world of Aussie Rules meets something like mental health, some people seem unable to be human at all. We like to talk about sports being a mirror of society, and sometimes that is true. It can show us all of the good, and bad, about ourselves. Sometimes that includes the worst society has to offer. Instead of seeing another human being dealing with the same struggles millions of other people deal with every day, we see a “weakness” to be exploited, and an enemy to be taunted.
It’s sad that in 2016 something as common as depression would be seen as such a flaw, instead of the illness it truly is. Maybe one day even the sports world will come to grips with that, and when it does, we’ll have brave folks like Mitch Clark, and Brandon Marshall in the NFL, among many others, to thank.