Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers' Powerful Take On Simone Biles

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In what has become a tradition during training camp, Aaron Rodgers sat down with Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer to discuss TV shows and pop culture.

In addition to discussing No. 12’s enthusiasm for Game of Thrones spinoffs and Mare of Easttown this year, they detoured away from television and into one of the summer’s biggest stories, Simone Biles.

Rodgers words on the all-time gymnast were incredibly powerful:

“I give Simone so much credit for her ability to speak the truth, her truth, and to answer tough questions, and to have the courage to say, ‘I’m scared’ and ‘I don’t feel like I should be out there,’” Rodgers said. “She’s the greatest gymnast of all time. And mental health [awareness] is an issue that is continuing to break down the stigmas that don’t allow us to talk about it or only allow us to talk about it in a super negative, depressive, suicidal way. People of all ages and all professions are dealing with mental issues, especially during COVID. You’ve seen the suicide hotline [calls] going way up. We’ve seen so many different statistics around mental health.

“It’s something we should be talking about and ways to help people get through it, whether it’s techniques or therapy or just conversations letting people know they’re not alone. And that’s what Simone did. I’m very, very proud of her. I’ve gotten to know her a little bit at times over the years. And I think what she did and then the way she handled herself, cheering for her teammates, was really special to watch in a tough situation for her. And I give her just a tremendous amount of respect.”

What can you do to keep that conversation going?

“Well, we should keep talking about it,” Rodgers told me. “Keep talking about ways that we individually deal with stress and deal with anxiety and deal with pressure and deal with depression or loneliness. I think that would really help. Because we, whether we like it or not, have a platform to influence people. And our words are often listened to more than the person who’s not in the public eye as much. So we have an opportunity — not an obligation, an opportunity — to maybe share some of our own ways of dealing with things and break some of the stigma around mental health.”

To some, this might be fly-by reading. Unimportant to a certain degree. But to so many in this country, hearing powerful people with powerful names in toughness-related professions discuss and support mental health is incredibly important. Having one of the greatest quarterbacks show this level of support is such a great asset for the mental health community. Good for Aaron Rodgers.

The whole article is available here.

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