Absolutely not. The NFL recruits those that are money makers; into a sport known to have one of the highest brain injury statistics, acknowledged only recently and even then, they talk about the “physical” impacts to the brain and body…not the mental ones.
The focus of the NFL appears to be performance. They want their athletes to perform well on the field and behave themselves off the field. Aside from that there seems to be a lack of concern. Up until the Antonio Brown incident I haven’t heard many commentators or fans ask if a player is mentally ok when their play started to decline. They usually say bench or trade him. Where is the care at with this?
I mean we don’t talk about it much in our normal lives so why should we expect sports to be better? The stigma will die down with the upcoming generation, but as long as older adults are the owners, stars and commissioners, the issue will never be taken seriously.
The bigger question… if the NFL is not doing enough with their multi billions… (they’re not) … then imagine how bad it is at the amateur levels. (Helmets are trash, underfunding, lack of full time trainers, etc.) This is the most pressing issue for football in general. I coached at the Div II NCAA level last year, I believe that VICIS helmets need to be mandated across the board. Immediately.
No way! Mental health isn’t taken seriously in everyday life let alone professional sports. It is sad, but it’s the reality of the world we live in.
I think it is slowly becoming more and more important. But I don’t think it is anywhere near the level that it should be. It’s encouraging to see more and more athletes talk about their struggles though, even if their leagues aren’t.