There are many problems in the world of sports, including some leagues not paying close enough attention to players who give everything they’ve got on every play and get hurt in the process. I’m focusing more on the players who find themselves hitting the wall in baseball or head-to-head collisions in football. Over the last number of years, sports fans have seen numerous players take their own lives after retirement and more often than not, these players suffered from some sort of mental illness due to these hard hits from their playing days.
It happened again this weekend when former Major League Baseball player Ryan Freel was found dead by an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. It is unknown why Freel took his own life, but it illustrates a bigger problem in sports. It is now more obvious than ever that all players need to be checked for mental illness, and leagues need to keep insurance going for those retired players to get the proper checkups. There are just too many players who are suffering head injuries and head trauma to just be thrown to the side after they leave the game.
The professional leagues need to step up and provide information about mental illness and concussions, even to baseball players. There are a ton of stadiums with walls that aren’t fully padded like Wrigley Field, where a player can go basically full speed into a brick wall. It is becoming a dangerous thing with players not knowing how to react when they are unable to do the things that they used to be able to do. The help is out there, and leagues should be pushing former players in that direction if they know about an issue, or know the player has had severe head trauma during their playing career.
Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports or like his Facebook page.