Mental health designation can come to injury reports

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Working with mental health is relatively new to many people. Feeling free to share when something doesn’t feel right takes some time, and hopefully we’ve reached a point where everyone can do it freely, without judgment or reservations. This is something the NBA and the Players Association hope to change.

With a mutual deactivation date of December 15th fast approaching for the CBA, mental health is one of the things that will be discussed for the next one.

While fans see professional athletes and their lifestyles and can’t imagine them struggling with things mentally, the fact remains that they are human beings at the end of the day. They play a sport as a profession, but the obstacles that an ordinary person has to overcome also deal to some extent.

That’s why the NBA and NBPA want to help their employees as much as possible. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, they will pursue a mental health designation when it comes to NBA injury reports.

“In what would be an unprecedented and progressive shift for American professional sports, the NBA and NBPA are discussing measures to allow players to cite mental health issues as an illness similar to physical injury, according to sources with knowledge of the conversations. Similar to when players treat external injuries, this new addition would give players the ability to treat their mental health issues with the same severity, allowing for things like seeking second opinions and visiting psychiatrists.”

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That would be an incredible step in the right direction for the league to take. Players have the time they need to heal from a physical injury such as a sprained ankle or an anterior cruciate ligament injury, but someone suffering from a mental injury doesn’t get the same luxury.

There have been a few examples recently of gamers talking about their mental health battles. Chicago Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan and Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love were at the forefront and hope their statements will lead to more players feeling comfortable enough to do the same.

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Last season, Ben Simmons also went through some mental battles. He revealed to the Philadelphia 76ers, his team at the time, that he was not mentally fit to play. Ever since he shared that after requesting a team trade, some people didn’t believe it was true and it was his way of resisting, which is the stigma the league and NBPA want to reduce.

Seemingly always at the forefront of progressive change, the NBA could once again set a path for other leagues around the world to follow suit, should its plan go well.

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