Players' Hell: The Result Of Bullying And Depression
In my previous post, I talked about how come bullies and that sense of tribalism exist in football. Today, I will talk about the devastating results of these actions.
The English player retired at the age of 28 saying that playing was hurting his mental health. He used to be a good young player who kept swinging between Premier League teams and the English Football League throughout his career, then he retired and said that he will be "A happier man"
I know what you're thinking "Who the hell is that?". And people said similar things when he did citing him as "an attention whore" when he was talking about how abuse and bullying from people in football and the crowd as he was growing up led him to make that decision.
As an Arsenal supporter, I remember this one very well. The player was genuinely trying and was reasonably understandable of the crowd and social media abuse. What he wasn't though, is Emmanuel Petit's harsh words that I will not be repeating here. Mustafi said that he was haunted by those words.
Okay, Mustafi is another failure I guess, so who cares about Emmanuel Petit calling him a name that will stick with him long after he retires, right?
You probably don't know him either as he was starting up in Manchester United, intimidated by all the stars around him, and later suffered an injury. As he was barely returning, he was mocked for the way he looked, not his playing style, but the way he looked by Nick Hancock.
Chadwick was terrified of Nick Hancock's show because whenever his name comes up, he would be mocked again. So much so, that he would be waiting by the phone expecting a call to tell him whether he was mocked or not. All of that was happening as Chadwick was a youngster trying to play his favorite sport on his favorite team.
In the end, Chadwick was given a name by Nick Hancock that stuck with him throughout his career, completely dehumanizing him.
Alright, I guess who cares about Luke Chadwick?
How About Danny Rose?
Danny Rose once said that he can't wait for the day he retires as a result of racism in football. Danny Rose was making 60K a week at Spurs, what would make anyone look forward to the day he leaves that behind? After all, he lives in his dream house, rides his dream car, and has everything he dreamed of having. This leads me to my next point.
22% Of Players Have Considered Self-harm
This is the other side of the coin. Players are also constantly told that they don't even have the right to be upset or sad because they have money. 22% have revealed that they have depression or considered self hard according to the PFA. Take away crowd abuse, and football association abuse, and let's talk about what depression looks like for footballers.
Robert Enke became severely depressed following the death of his 2-years-old daughter due to rare heart disease. He and his wife adopted a girl. Robert Enke's depression grew as time went by, unable to talk to the media or therapists as he feared he would lose his adopted daughter as well.
In November 2009, Robert Enke took his own life by jumping in front of an express train as his depression became too much.
People who watched the Premier League in the late 90s, or early 200s would recognize his name as a Newcast United superstar. He met a similar fate to Robert Enke due to depression.
An Aston Villa superstar and the highest-paid player tried to take his own life twice.
There's a long list of players who had depression, some didn't make it out on the other end. Players who only wanted to play their games and achieve their dreams getting constantly ridiculed and dehumanized when talking about their problems.
Depression still exists and its effects still exist. Players also have their own personal problems and obstacles that they have to go through as they do their job, often while getting bullied once, twice, or even three times a week with social media and sports talk shows filling the space in between.
It takes a lot of abuse, bullying, and depression to make these stars do what they dreamed of doing since they were children to hate their own dream and consider taking their own lives, sometimes doing just that.