Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall is one of the top receivers in the NFL and has produced big plays on the field that leave many fans surprised by his athleticism for his size. Yesterday, Marshall surprised sports fans again by signing a contract extension on established daytime TV talk show "The View". His appearance on "The View", alongside his wife, was not about sports but about Marshall's struggles with mental health in recent years. In making his battle much more public, Brandon Marshall reemphasizes the importance for people and men in particular that mental health is more important that any health one can have.
Given Brandon Marshall's prior off the field issues, he has not been an athlete who could be called any type of motivational speaker. However, his openness on television about his struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder, which is a "serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships", was fascinating considering many athletes can hide their weaknesses publicly from the media and fans. It does take some courage to disclose that type of personal information about himself but it is likely that Marshall saw his appearance on "The View" as a way to reach a broader audience beyond sports fans on a subject he is very familiar with.
May is Mental Health Month so Brandon Marshall's appearance and subsequent million dollar pledge to The Mental Health Community are timely. The American public knows the importance of diet and physical fitness for physical health but mental health is rarely discussed in a similar regard. It is surprising that Brandon Marshall serves as an unofficial spokesperson for the importance of mental health but his message remains important regardless of the messenger.