Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Love received the award during the 2020 ESPY Awards which took place remotely Sunday night.
Kevin Love is being recognized for being an advocate for mental health awareness. The most notable instance being the piece he published in The Players’ Tribune documenting his own struggles. “Everyone Is Going Through Something” shed some light on a subject that professional athletes have not been all that open about, their own mental health.
Talking about mental health has always been a topic that athletes have shied away from in the past. This is due to the idea that they need to be this big macho person all the time. Talking about any sort of issue mentally is viewed as a weakness and those with real issues become fearful of it being revealed.
Love would go into detail about how he went through his own struggles back in November of 2017, recalling the series of events that eventually led him to seeing a therapist. This is an unknown territory for athletes, at least active ones. Most of the time they are supposed to bury this stuff down inside. Keeping it from seeing the light day. This process usually leads to problems in other areas that should not be taken lightly. Athletes being more open will not only help themselves, but those who look up to them as role models. Letting everyone know that it is acceptable to seek help and discuss these types of issues will make a huge difference.
While Kevin Love did not become more open and discuss his own struggles to win an award, he has done a lot to help alleviate the stigma when it comes to mental health. Recognizing the contributions he has made to a once taboo subject is certainly award worthy.