Karim Abdul-Jabbar asks the question that the media asks athletes

Karim Abdul-Jabbar criticized the media for asking athletes “come across questions” after the games in an article on mental health in sports.

In an essay published in The Hollywood Reporter, Abdul-Jabbar applauded athletes such as tennis star Naomi Osaka and Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers for speaking openly about their mental health problems.

He said that post-match interviews for some athletes, especially introverts, can be “much worse than actual competition.”

“Reporters often seek to elicit a dramatic, headline-grabbing quote by provoking the athlete, inciting him to defeat or their public stance on social justice,” he wrote. “When I was an active player, repeating these antagonistic questions, game after game, year after year, was frustrating and sometimes infuriating. It’s costly for all of us. ”

He added that the public should stop punishing athletes and celebrities when they are anything less than “exemplars of excellence” and instead admire them “for everything they have achieved despite their hardships.”

“It is a reflection of our own character, whether we choose support or ridicule, because it reflects either our capacity for compassion or the depth of our personal fears,” he said.

Abdul-Jabbar’s article came a few weeks after Osaka pulled out of the French Open to take a mental break.

Osaka’s decision rekindled a conversation about mental health among athletes, similar to the conversation Love started after he wrote an essay on panic attacks. in 2018 for the Players Tribune.

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