LISTEN:

Richard Sherman had an extraordinary career with the Seattle Seahawks for seven seasons. At the end of his final contract with the Seahawks, he signed a free agent deal with the rival San Francisco 49ers, where he played the past three seasons.

Well, “play” needs to be defined…

Sherman was injured for the better part of all three seasons. While he performed well when active, he wasn’t the same player.

At the height of his success less than five years ago, he was considered the best cornerback in the National Football League, and on his way to a Hall of Fame career. He was not re-signed by the 49ers after last season, and has yet to be picked up by a team with training camps less than a month away.

Last week, Sherman was arrested outside the home of his in-laws. He was attempting to break in to the home, was violent, intoxicated, and according to the 911 call made by his wife, depressed and threatening suicide. While all ended peacefully with Sherman being released from jail, and appearing in court with his wife, it’s a shockingly meteoric fall for a superstar athlete.

Or is it?

Sherman has made a statement and admits to what has been made known over the past few days; that the injuries, his inability to find another team, and the interruption to his status as the best in the league has taken its toll on him.

I hope that he will accept the help he needs (which he has said he would) and that he will resolve the issues he is facing, whether he ever plays football again or not.

We all are humans and will struggle at points in our lives. We all have frailties, vulnerabilities, and scar tissue to deal with. We also all have hopes, dreams, and aspirations. When the latter get sidetracked, it can cause great mental anxiety, stress, and undesirable behavior.

It’s easy to define oneself by their profession and career. One doesn’t have to be an NFL star to find great success, accolades, wealth, and notoriety in their own industry and communities. A “fall off the pedestal,” for whatever reason, can be devastating to one’s psyche and mental health.

While Sherman may be a high profile example, the pandemic has exacerbated the fact that all humans are exposed to personal challenges that cause mental health issues. This includes everyone from our family, friends, neighbors, employees, coworkers, and clients.

Last week, I wrote about all of us needing at times to be “rescued.” While part of this missive may seem to be a repeat of that message, the Richard Sherman saga resonated with me and has compelled me to double down this week.

As we all return to what is seemingly a pre-COVID world, it can be easy to let our foot of the gas when being perceptive to the needs of others. As a business writer, it would be remiss to not remind business owners and those in leadership positions to be attentive to employees that might be displaying signs and behaviors related to stress; to remind those as co-workers and colleagues to be alert and aware of others.

It’s easy to judge; people as high-profile as Sherman are open to judgement, especially in social media platforms. But the same judgment can be as insidious in offices and business environments. Sometimes people may be having a bad day, or may be crying out for help.

In a world that much too often exhorts us to judge every word and action of others, maybe the simple acts of empathy and kindness should vault to the forefront of our minds. 

Note: Next week, I’m embarking on a new program around being “Unleashed.” The concepts will be around advancing motivation, inspiration, and ideas for you to create a more rewarding life.

If you’d like an early sneak peak, email me with the subject – Get Unleashed!

Quote of the Week:

“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.”

~ Josh Billings, 19th century American humorist

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