There are players you’re used to hearing from and those you aren’t. Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Ali Marpet is the latter.
Marpet did speak though, in the NFL’s Mental Health & Wellness Series.
“One thing that I realized for myself, for my own mental health is to create and prioritize a support system,” Marpet said while speaking about mental health. “There are people that I go to pretty immediately if something feels off, or wrong. Just talking about it usually makes you feel so much better.”
In the open and honest piece on the importance of balancing professional life and personal health Marpet opens up about speaking regularly with a psychologist while also emphasizing how important it is for him to do things away from the game.
Of course, while the offensive lineman from Hobart has won over the hearts and minds of Buccaneers fans with his underrated play on the field, he also became a favorite for his ukulele skills.
Marpet mentioned his love of playing the instrument while also listing reading as a favorite activity of his outside of football, saying,
“Most of my family plays some sort of instrument and being able to jam at a very low level together, is the best.”
While a game, professional football is one of the most body intensive and mentally taxing professions around. The constant physical punishment and week-to-week requirement to be the best can take a toll on anyone.
“I think it’s important to address mental health within sports. Ultimately it’s something we all deal with and I think that if we know that, it becomes more relatable, it’s easier to talk about. When it’s easier to talk about it, you feel better about it. So I think just bringing awareness to it is really important.”
Important words from one of the best in his profession. Mental health was a taboo subject for a long time, especially among those in more masculine professions such as sports, military, and the like.
There has been a growing focus on mental health during the past generation’s population however, as the need for understanding and confronting issues which may arise have become more and more talked about and accepted.
While the league doesn’t get everything right, it’s good to see them stepping into this space and engaging players society looks up to in order to help communicate the messages.
For more information or to seek help contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK or visit Mental Health America at MHz national.org.