Three days ago, I read Chuck Klosterman’s interview with Royce White. While this interview occurred several years ago, it feels incredibly relevant with everything that’s happened in basketball this week.
For those who don’t know or remember who Royce White is, he was the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He only played 3 games in his NBA career — and it wasn’t even with the team who drafted him — but what’s most remembered about Royce White was his advocacy for better mental health treatment in the NBA.
When reading the interview, I thought that White’s ideas were in the right place if not sometimes misguided but overall he made good points about how the NBA doesn’t really see mental illness as what it is – an illness.
This week the NBA outlined new rules regarding mental health and would call for teams to have at least one mental health professional on staff among other rules.
This is a massive step across all sports as much only use mental health as a hashtag campaign to promote the guise of doing things to prevent mental illness.
So what does this have to do with Liz Cambage?
Well, remember last week when Cambage sat a few games to get well-deserved rest? Today, in a powerful piece written by Cambage, she discussed her own mental health struggles and how her DNP-Rest was really DNP-Mental Health.
Her excitement for the NBA’s new policies towards mental health is reflected in the piece but also made her raise the question about women in basketball:
“But at the same time, I won’t lie — it’s disappointing to me that we’re praising anyone for ‘progress’ when so many women are being excluded from it. I mean….. doesn’t the WNBA deserve this same program?”
There are many statistics about women and mental health that I could simply throw out there to signify why this is important to them but everyone deserves the right to care for their mental health — even athletes.
Although there are many inequalities between the NBA and WNBA, this is one where there should be no debate. This isn’t a debate about money or advertising, this is people’s health and Cambage’s push for that comes at a perfect time.
The movement for equality is sometimes slow-moving. Sometimes it happens in strides.
Featured Image: SkySports