On a new episode of In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott opened up about his brother’s suicide earlier in the year, and his own bouts with depression and anxiety in recent months. Mental health discussions carry are sadly considered taboo in many circles, so Prescott’s decision to, as an NFL star, begin a frank discussion about them is extremely powerful.
“All throughout this quarantine and this offseason, I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” Prescott told Bensinger, via CBS Sports. “Anxiety for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression. And to the point of, I didn’t want to work out anymore. I didn’t know necessarily what I was going through, to say the least, and hadn’t been sleeping at all.”
Prescott has been widely applauded for his public honesty. Right now, everyone is likely feeling at least some increased anxiety given everything that has happened this year. A star athlete like Prescott can have a major impact, opening up about these issues and showing others that they are not alone.
Today, his new head coach Mike McCarthy chimed in, calling Prescott a “remarkable young man” who is beyond his years. “I admire the young man,” McCarthy said, per Jane Slater.
#Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy on Dak Prescott and his admission about his mental health: “A remarkable young man.” Says he’s beyond his years. “I admire the young man.”
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) September 11, 2020
Unfortunately, the message hasn’t been universally embraced. On Thursday, FS1’s Skip Bayless had an absolutely horrible take, saying that he doesn’t have sympathy for Prescott, and that “if you reveal publicly any little weakness, it can affect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spots.”
Bayless gave an extremely weak non-apology today, after waves and waves of criticism. Dak Prescott isn’t giving him much time of day, which is the right move.
“Being a leader is about being genuine and being real,” Prescott said in response to Bayless.
The Dallas Cowboys kick off their season on Sunday night at the Los Angeles Rams.
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