Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is showing support for one of his peers, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. The face of America's Team recently drew considerable attention when opening up about his brother's suicide. He said that he sought help for anxiety and depression. Some people expressed criticism, but Rodgers took a different approach.
Speaking with reporters, Rodgers faced questions about mental health from The Athletic's Matt Schneidman. He responded by praising the Cowboys QB and explaining how NFL players face many struggles daily. "I saw what Dak said. I applaud him," Rodgers said. "I think it's phenomenal, speaking out, because that's true courage and that's true strength. It's not a weakness at all.
Thought I’d ask Aaron Rodgers today about mental health, specifically what he thinks the value of people like him and Dak Prescott talking about their headspace, happiness and mental well-being has in destigmatizing talking about that stuff.
His full answer: pic.twitter.com/OtZ4kN1915— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 23, 2020
"At the bare minimum, it makes you more relatable to people," Rodgers added. "We have the same struggles and the same issues and the same desires to grow and change and see things in a better positive light that so many people out there do. The more that we can connect with people, especially on conversations like this, I think the better out society can be moving forward as a connected society built around love and positivity."
Prescott previously opened up about his offseason struggles following his brother's suicide. He said that he experienced thoughts that "he has never had" and that he used this as an opportunity to be vulnerable. Prescott said that he spoke to his family and others that had previously dealt with anxiety and depression and that opening up about his feelings was beneficial to him.
While Rodgers joined the list of people applauding Prescott for his openness, this was not a universal reaction. FOX Sports host Skip Bayless, for example, said that he "has no sympathy" for Prescott going public about being depressed. The host said that the vulnerability hinders the QB's leadership abilities.
FOX Sports released a statement condemning Bayless' "insensitive comments" while expressing support for Prescott. The company said that it had met with the host and "addressed the significance" of the matter. Meanwhile, Bayless said that his comments were misconstrued and said that he was only addressing Prescott's "pandemic depression."
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.