Link – National Basketball Players Association adds first director of mental health

This is great, not just for NBA players, but for everyone who wishes to see the end of stigma surrounding mental health issues.

The National Basketball Players Association named Dr. William D. Parham its first director of mental health and wellness on Thursday.

http://kfgo.com/news/articles/2018/may/31/national-basketball-players-association-adds-first-director-of-mental-health/

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Link – Metta World Peace Claims He Was Offered Huge Money to Throw a College Game

This is a very real risk, especially in college sports where the players don’t have any money.

“In a controversial Supreme Court ruling this week, ​the nationwide ban on sports gambling was overturned and power was given to the states to regulate wagering as they see fit.

While sports junkies and bookies across the league celebrate, many are concerned about the damage this could do to the integrity of sports. Many scandals have resulted from players attempting to alter the outcome of games, and Metta World Peace is now speaking out about a certain situation he found himself in during his college days at St. John’s. ​”

Honestly, I don’t know how the NCAA is going to prevent this from happening.

https://www.12up.com/posts/6063252-metta-world-peace-claims-he-was-offered-huge-money-to-throw-a-college-game/partners/36273

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Link – #DamWorthIt Earns National Award

Good for them. Oregon State should be proud.

This year’s recipient of the Civic Leaders Award is Oregon State’s #DamWorthIt campaign, led by current men’s soccer student-athlete Nathan Braaten and former gymnast Taylor Ricci. #DamWorthIt is a campaign designed by Braaten and Ricci for student-athletes in order to decrease the stigma surrounding mental health through education and awareness.

http://osubeavers.com/news/2018/4/18/womens-gymnastics-damworthit-earns-national-award.aspx

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As Long As We Win – Aly Raisman on USA Gymnastics Culture

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend an event on the LSU campus featuring Olympic champion, and sexual abuse survivor, Aly Raisman. I hadn’t gone in to the evening expecting to write a blog post on my sports blog about it, but something she said made me take a long hard look at sports culture.

Not only that, but she also shared that people outside of the gymnastics world had asked her, and her teammates, why they were complaining, since they did win gold medals after all.

I think there’s something seriously wrong with sports fans if that’s our attitudes. I know I often roll my eyes at the fans who take to twitter to lambast professional athletes who dare complain about anything, after all they get paid millions of dollars to play a game, and we would all do anything to be in their shoes. Be that as it may, these are still human beings that we are talking about, and in the case of USA gymnasts, USA swimmers, UK and Argentine youth footballers, we are talking about children.

I do not think it’s appropriate to ignore sexual abuse, or mock mental health problems, or to dismiss real world problems because they are happening to people who happen to be the best athletes in the world. Yes, they’ve been lucky to have such physical talent, but it hardly makes it OK for them to be mistreated. The fact that the USA gymnastics team has been so successful does not mean that we can ignore the many, many people who harmed these girls by not taking accusations against Larry Nasser seriously. Aly had some very strong words for the administrators at Michigan State, the USOC and USA Gymnastics who did not investigate what was going on 20 years ago when the first rumors came out about Dr. Nasser. I can’t blame her. She’s 23 years old. If someone back then had done the right thing by these girls instead of ignoring it during the pursuit of Olympic glory, maybe she doesn’t have a sexual abuse survivor story to tell. I have no doubt, based on her brutal honesty about how much telling this story costs her, that she would love to not be in the spotlight over this. We should be amazed at her willingness to do it anyway, but we also shouldn’t forget that she shouldn’t have to. The adults in these organizations failed her, and every other gymnast who was abused in the ensuing years by Nasser.

And we failed them too, by thinking that anything that happens in the pursuit of a gold medal is “worth it” if they win in the end. That’s not a moral compass, that’s inviting athletes to be taken advantage of.

We need to be better than that as parents, as fans, and as human beings.