You may have noticed a lack of Hot Takes last week. This was because while riding my electric skateboard to work I was unequivocally run off the road by a car who did not take kindly to my presence. Luckily I escaped the 20+ MPH crash with only a few bumps and bruises and a mildly sprained wrist. After some deep introspection as to why what happened did, I came to the conclusion that I cannot control the actions of others and it would be best if I returned the device that had turned my daily commutes into my favorite part of each and every day. Needless to say, I was not in the best head space with both physical and emotional health issues, so last week’s post never happened.
I don’t bring this up because I am looking for sympathy or making excuses or whatever. I bring this up because of this story. I’ve spent a lot of column inches in these posts questioning the quality of ESPN’s reporting. This story by Jackie MacMullin should be required reading, I think it’s that important. If you absorb interviews better by hearing or seeing them, here is the video:
Kevin Love spent the better part of last season as a punchline. We need to make sure he is recognized this coming season for what he is. A beacon of strength. For anyone to recognize that their mental health is important and to seek help for whatever issues their battling is remarkable. For someone with the visibility of NBA superstardom to do it is goddamn heroic. And maybe with Love, and Paul Pierce, and Chris Bosh, and DeMar DeRozan all starting to come forward, we can start to change the culture where mental illness is seen as weakness.
Like I alluded to at the beginning, I had a minor accident and sustained a minor injury and didn’t feel up to doing anything as simple as writing an opinion piece of sports. These athletes sustain much more difficult injuries and have more intense pressure than the average person, but they second they show a sign that they’re human too, the people shouting to “get over it, you make millions” came flying out of every corner.
There was another article last week the detailed how Serena Williams found out the man who murdered her sister and personal assistant Yetunde Price was being paroled less than 10 minutes before a match in the Silicon Valley Classic. That match against Johanna Konta would produce the worst defeat of Serena’s career 6-1, 6-0. I think the fact she was able to leave the locker room at all was the largest of victories.
This is all to say, take care of yourselves. No matter what you may be going through, it is not a sign of weakness to take care of yourself. If you need to talk to someone, find someone to talk to. If you feel like the conditions of your surroundings aren’t safe, speak up or act to change them.
That’s just what a group of high school football players in Georgia did this past week. After enduring practices of full contact with out adequate padding, a lack of hydration and protection from the Georgia heat, and then being called “soft” if they sustained an injury, the players took it upon themselves to walk out in protest. This is especially notable after what has been happening in Maryland, with a player ultimately dying of heat stroke and the entire program being under investigation.
You are your own best advocate. It is never “untough”, “weak”, or “soft” to protect yourself and your future.
Editor’s Note: Okay, so I know that this feels like an abrupt ending to this week’s #HumpTakes and that’s because it is. Andrew originally had a video from Russell Westbrook’s InstaStory, and I can no longer find it.
However, I did find another video that I think can help lighten up your day. You’ll find it below. It’s Felix Hernandez and Adrian Beltre, who are best friends.
Before wrapping this week up, I want to let you all know that we here at The Turf aren’t going to shy away from topics that are darker, like this one today. Instead, we’re going to give a voice to the voiceless and help spread a message of healing and acceptance. If you’re not okay, feel free to reach out to us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, wherever and we can talk about sports or the Oakland A’s or Dwight Howard or whatever. We Cover Everything. That includes friendship.