In the NBA, players’ mental health was long left in the dark and not discussed league-wide. That mentality changed last year when San Antonio Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan and Cleveland Cavaliers center Kevin Love publicly spoke up about their own mental health issues.
Important progress has been made. However, with it, some NBA owners are looking to get records on their players’ mental health reports ESPN.com’s Jackie MacMullan.
“The union insists that mental health treatment be confidential, but some NBA owners, who in some cases are paying their players hundreds of millions of dollars, want access to the files of their ‘investments.’
“Confidentiality, says Love, has to be non-negotiable. Without it, he says, he never would have become comfortable enough to announce from that All-Star dais that he was seeking treatment.”
It’s a complicated ask from owners. On one hand, they’re paying players millions of dollars and as such, want to be privy to all possible health problems – mental health included.
On the flip side, players’ shouldn’t have to disclose mental health records. As Love mentioned, if players are getting consideration on their own value based on their mental health situation, they’ll never feel comfortable talking about them publicly.
Owners don’t need to see mental health records. Instead, they should support players when they are struggling. It’s that simple.