Stephen A. Smith Opens Up About His Mental Health Battle: ‘I’ve Been Devastatingly Depressed’
During Tuesday morning’s First Take on ESPN, Stephen A. Smith confirmed he believes athletes should be required to fulfill their media obligations, but he also applauded Osaka for speaking out.
“You have media obligations, they are a part of your contractual obligations,” Smith said. “Because the media is what enables the sport to be promoted, and the promotion of the sport is what generates the revenue … And as a result, that’s what ultimately assists in the athletes getting paid the money that they get paid.”
“But that doesn’t mean we shred our humanity and ignore the profound impact that mental health issues have and exist with all of us,” the ESPN host added.
Smith explained that June 1, 2021 is the four-year anniversary of his mother’s death. “I do not want to be here,” Smith said. “But I have a job, I signed up and the NBA Playoffs are going on and people expect to hear from me.”
“It’s incredibly important that we support her and we support the millions upon millions of people who go through what she’s going through right now,” Smith said of Osaka’s decision to withdraw from the French Open. “Anxiety wasn’t my issue, but of course I’ve been devastatingly depressed, and I was in therapy for three years.” – sources