Mind Over Sports

WHY THE NFL NEEDS TO IMPLEMENT A PROGRAM TO HELP PLAYERS WHO ARE EXPERIENCING PERSONAL PROBLEMS.

Posted on: May 18, 2013

There are many team owners and coaches who believe that creating support groups within their team structure to help athletes with personal problems and issues is “sissy stuff” and of little or no value.  And yet, all one has to do is look at the trouble that many young players are getting into during their careers and after retirement. Two examples are Rolando McClain and Chad Johnson.

According to a report in USA TODAY: “A day after he retired from the Baltimore Ravens following his third arrest in 16 months, linebacker Rolando McClain, 23, said his priority was cleaning up his off-field situation. ‘I have decided at this time,’ he said, ‘it is in my best interest to focus on getting my personal life together.’”

In the case of Chad Johnson, USA TODAY reported: “A warrant has been issued for the arrest of former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson in South Florida…for failing to report to his probation officer. Johnson received a year of probation in September after pleading no contest to a domestic violence charge involving his former wife, reality TV star Evelyn Lozada.”

It’s too bad these young men didn’t receive help while employed by their respective teams. Had they broken a leg there’s no doubt a physician would have been called in and x-rays taken. But no help is offered for an issue that may be entirely mental – such as misdirected anger – until the anger surfaces in a domestic quarrel.

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