Dear Derrick Rose,
I know the chances you read this are highly unlikely and I know that you really don't care about what any NBA Blooger or Podcaster has to say since we're all "keyboard warriors" and all. But, today. Today you really crossed a line.
You know what I'm referring to, Derrick. Your comments in a media scrum today saying and I quote "For everybody that think iI'm gonna play the same way, kill yourself." Man, come on.
Now I get it, the term "kill yourself" is used way more than it should be, but that doesn't excuse you for saying a shitty thing. Hey, you apologized, I'm glad you owned up to it. But you said the term "kill yourself" was slang..... What? Not to mention you did double down on your comments when you said "Like I said, for everybody that thinks that it's going to stop, kill yourself."
I'm not a "hater" of yours by any means, Derrick. As a matter of fact, I have supported you through all the ups and downs of your NBA career. When you had the press conference for "The Return" from Adidas and you cried saying you didn't deserve the attention you were getting you definitely won my heart. Now since then, you haven't really done the best job of showing yourself to be a role model by any means, but hey man. I cheered you on when you scored 50 points this year and yet again when you cried after that game you won me over yet again.
It's been great to see you play Basketball at a high level, but your words are disappointing on so many levels. You continue to be one of the most beloved NBA players in the whole world! People adore you! Hell, we all hear about your trips to China and how fans still rock your #1 Chicago Bulls jersey and still purchase your signature Adidas sneakers.... Those people carry you in their heart and have defended you through it all.
I really wish you would look around your league and see all the steps the NBA has taken to make Mental Health a serious conversation in sports. Take guys like DeMar DeRozan for example who admitted that his struggle with depression gets the best of him from time to time. How about your former teammate Kevin Love? The man who has been on the Player Tribune discussing his panic attacks and issues.
Are you even aware how serious suicide is? How about the fact that the World Health Organization reports that 1.4% of all deaths in the world come from Suicide completion? That's 5,000-15,000 people every year.
You don't know me, Derrick. However, the people who do know why this conversation means the world to me. You have a huge responsibility as a Professional Athlete and a Role Model to be on top of the words you use. Even with all your ups and downs, you're still one of the most famous NBA players in the world.