Aaron Rodgers addressed plenty during his Wednesday press conference on the second day of training camp with the Green Bay Packers. He focused most of his time on unloading all of his gripes with the organization and explaining what he was looking for from the team this offseason.
But Rodgers also gave an important statement on taking this summer to work on his mental health. In his answer, he touched on Simone Biles‘ decision to withdraw from the gymnastics team final earlier this week.
After a shaky vault in Tuesday’s team final, Biles opted out of the competition, citing her desire to focus on her mental health. She was met with an outpouring of support from the athlete community and Rodgers reinforced that sentiment by empathizing with the all-time great Olympian on Wednesday.
“I think it’s important that we work on our mental state and as you’ve seen with Simone Biles, I think there needs to be more conversation around that,” Rodgers said, per Yahoo Sports. “We as athletes are often put on a pedestal that we’re not — that we’re beyond any mental hindrances or clutter. And the only time that mental health often gets talked about is when it’s under the conversation of depression. I didn’t have any depression, but I have a ton of respect for people who speak out in those situations.
“For me, it was just about clearing any of the clutter. And that’s what I try to do with this offseason by adjusting some habits and spending time with my loved ones, traveling as safely and as often as I possibly could and then making sure I was ready to go if I came back.”
#Packers Rodgers gives nod to Simone Biles and says he spent this off-season working on his mental clutter: “I think there needs to be more conversation around that we as athletes are often out on pedestal that we’re beyond mental hinderances or clutter…”
— Rachel Hopmayer (@rachelhopmayer) July 28, 2021
Biles won’t compete in the individual all-around competition on Thursday in Tokyo as she continues to work on her mental health. Suni Lee and Jade Carey will try to carry the mantle in her place.
No one individual can fully relate to Biles’ experience with her own mental health, but Rodgers is certainly in a place to empathize given his position as an NFL star. His answer on Wednesday certainly was encouraging to hear and could go a long way in pushing conversations about mental health to the forefront of professional sports.
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