In Light of World Mental Health Day, Stephen A. Smith Unveils the Dual Edges of Sports Fandom on ‘First Take”

Mental health awareness, now more than ever, becomes even more important. In the world of sports, when what an athlete does or accomplishes makes the headlines, not many realize the pressure sports personalities have on their shoulders. The twenty-first century has seen its share of tragic deaths due to suicide. One being the sad passing of Neil Currey. As it becomes obvious, the need to advocate mental health awareness becomes crucial.

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Famous names like Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, and Mia St. John have been raising the rallying slogan of the importance of a healthy mindset. If one is to see it this way, mental fitness is as important as physical capabilities, if not more. The world celebrated ‘Mental Health Day’ on October 10. On this special occasion, someone from the sporting news reflected on the flip sides of sports fandom. For someone who has experienced gloomy days, Stephen A. Smith’s take might be inspiring for the world.

Stephen A. Smith on what makes “sports scary”


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ESPN’s show, ‘First Take’, celebrated the importance of acknowledging World Mental Health Day. As they released the clip on Twitter, Smith was seen pouring his thoughts. In light of the sports world, he acknowledged the need to be sensitive and show some decency on the subject of mental health. Talking about it, He said, “We have to be the heightened level of sensitivity and the core decency that’s in all of us has to be heightened.”

Smith also emphasized the varying disparities in the sports world. Smith also shared his deep worries about the fandom world. He said, “What scares me about the Sports World when we talk about this subject is that the Sports World encourages fandom. Fandom means you take a side and if you take a side as a fan you want to do your part to influence your side, gaining an advantage over the opposite side…ultimately it’s going to involve heckling, it’s going to involve teasing, it’s going to involve trolling and things of those nature.”

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Smith further delved into the impact of dollars in the sports world. He said, “How do you police that? Because in the World of Sports.. we’re asking people to give us their fervor and their passion to come along with their dollars. If you’re asking them to do those things and they’re doing those things and ultimately they see it has an impact towards favoring, the side that they want favored but the other side can’t embrace it and take it strictly as Just Sports, it affects them in a far more detrimental way. I don’t know how we overcome that which is what makes sports scary.”

Once we accept that there is a problem, handling situations calmly comes as our only solution. This is not the first time Smith has given his take on mental health. He has come up with different ways to handle negativity and mental health challenges.

Smith’s way to tackle negativity


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Smith’s podcast, “The Stephen A. Smith Show” has many fans dropping their questions. The podcast covers a range of issues related to the sporting and pop culture world. Not long ago, Smith had a fan named Victor Lincoln calling him. The fan asked Smith for some life advice, a mantra to go by in his life.

Smith came with an amazing response. Talking to Lincoln, he said, “First of all, you got to surround yourself with the right people and people who love you. I didn’t say yes people who are just going to tell you what you want to hear, I said, surrounding yourself with people who love you because sometimes people who love you don’t tell you what you want to hear. They tell you what you need to hear, and so I think that’s incredibly important.


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All this increases the need to acknowledge one’s surroundings, while simultaneously checking up on our loved ones. Because mental health awareness is as important as physical health. And if our favorite athletes can battle it, the least we can do is support them in their struggles.

Watch Story: “Outside of Steph Curry, Most Lethal PG in the NBA”: Stephen A. Smith Sets Massive Expectations for Damian Lillard Following Bucks Move

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