Depression is a very real and very profound issue for those suffering from it. In this modern world of sports where every movement of the sportsperson is scrutinised, put under a microscope and we, those that love the sports they play and the person, can comment on what is being written about them. We can view in very real time what is happening to that person, good or bad. What we don’t really comprehend is the effect that this scrutiny can have on a person irrespective of who they are, what they play and what they earn.
There are those out there who assume that someone with unbelievable talent and is paid a sum of money that we mere “average joe’s” will never experience, could ever suffer from depression. If they believe that, then they are delusional. It makes no difference who you are or what successes you have had in your life, depression can creep up and smack you clean across the face without any warning.
Our world is smaller because of the impact of the internet and social media. Bullies and trolls can now hide behind a keyboard and really explode their vitriol to a person, rub their hands with glee at the very thought of what impact their diatribe will have on that person. They are simply cowards.
I applaud people such as Tom Boyd, Alex Fasolo, Tom Downie, Buddy Franklin and even Travis Cloke to admit to the world that they are suffering depression. I may not like them for who they play for, but I admire them for taking that stance publicly.
It strikes me that men in today’s social media world believe that they have to hide their real issues behind the mask of pretence in order to be revered. Gone are the days when men had to pretend that they were happy and content all the time. Far too many have suffered in silence and in the end, saw no way out other than leaving this planet.
We may boo them on the field, taunt them while they are playing their sport, but in the end, it is those players that we want to see on footy field because they give the game something to shout about.
At the end of my articles I always write #BOUNDBYBLUE, but this time, it means more, because we, the footy world must be bound by supporting those who suffer from the “blues” – depression. I hope that Tom Boyd, Travis Cloke and others who suffer from this do seek the help and assistance they so require. We the footy loving world will support you in every aspect, we will still taunt you during the game.