Sports can bring out the best and worst in us. We cheer and jeer our favorite teams and players because we hold them to certain standards.
What we forget to realize, however, is that when professional athletes don't live up to the standards of which they hold themselves, they take it personally. We forget that they are as every bit as human as we are.
That is the case with St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler, who recently admitted to depression after a frustrating 2018 season. His wife, Aliya, even spoke about Fowler's condition in an interview with Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold.
Since the conversation about depression continues today in STL and around #stlcards -- as it should -- here's the original story and comments from Dexter Fowler. The defeat "was in his heart," says his wife: https://t.co/yVxshq24VF #Cardinals #MLB— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) December 18, 2018
Here are Aliya's comments: As his wife, I could see, whatever it was, was eating him up… No matter how many times I said, ‘Just go out there and do your job,’ he would agree, and come back that night, defeated. The defeat was beyond the game. It was in his heart.”
“I have a lot of respect for Dexter — to be that vulnerable (in the article). That just says a lot about him. And it allows other people to feel more comfortable in getting the help that they need." -- #stlcards manager Mike Shildt to @hochman. https://t.co/qWMQYdldF6— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) December 18, 2018
This is an unfortunate reminder to the fact that mental health is bigger than sports. Let's hope Fowler overcomes this struggle and returns to the player we all know he can be in 2019.