The BIG3 acknowledges the importance of mental health in achieving overall health. As a professional sports league that presents some of the world’s best athletes competing on a highly visible and public stage, we recognize that encouraging and supporting mental health is not only good for our business but is also a core value of our organization. To this end, the BIG3 will be guided by a mental health policy grounded in the following key principles:
We understand that the demands of professional athletics and a public life are unique and can take an emotional as well as physical toll. We recognize that our players are human, not superheroes, and that we all encounter a variety of life struggles–from general stress and anxiety, to acute crisis and chronic health conditions. Life off the court impacts life on the court and vice versa—and the BIG3 will support its players and staff equally in celebrating their joys and successes and showing compassion for them in their personal trials and struggles.
We believe that overall health and happiness are the foundations of living; intimately personal and in need of the utmost respect. We view health as a comprehensive model of mind, body and spirit, and that mental health is an essential component of well-being and a quality life.
We believe mental health should not be hidden or treated differently from any other health condition. Too many suffer in silence, afraid to seek out mental health assistance. The BIG3 will address stigma and the differentiation of mental health issues proactively. We will create and advocate for policies that give people the ability and encouragement to ask for and receive help.
We will support our players speaking publicly about mental health and other health related issues and will not ostracize or penalize our players for addressing any health issue publicly or privately. We recognize that by doing so we are eliminating an organizational impediment that creates stigma and can deter players from communicating their personal struggles to the league, their peers and their fans.
We acknowledge that a culture of trust and acceptance is the fundamental starting point for seeking, receiving and succeeding in treatment for any mental health issues. As an organization, we will communicate to our players that their honesty about health issues will be embraced and supported.
We are a professional sports league and understand that we are not experts on mental health. The BIG3 will consult medical experts in matters related to the mental health of our players, and support and assist our players in seeking professional help.
We pledge to create a culture where BIG3 players feel confident and empowered to address mental health issues. We believe this important topic goes beyond our players and our league and we will ask our fans and partners to help support and advocate for broader public understanding and acceptance of mental health issues. We hope to be an exemplar for other sports leagues and professions and to assist in educational efforts and policy changes that will help eliminate stigma surrounding mental health.
This policy is subject to being revisited as our league continues to change and grow.