Sport in general, but especially darts, is still yet to get up to speed with some of the recent changes in society’s values. One of these values in particular is the growing acceptance and understanding of mental health. Sportsmen and women so often hide mental health issues because they feel they won’t be accepted despite their exceptional talents. These people have pushed themselves to be the best they can and yet because they have a mental health issue some sports fans choose not to support them based on this alone. The majority of people disregard mental health conditions because of the complexity. They fail to appreciate that every case is different and no one can be placed into a category or given a label.
James Wade has battled with mental health conditions throughout his life. He has often spoke out about his low moments and has become a great ambassador for raising the awareness of mental health conditions in sport. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, clinical depression and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when he was admitted to The Priory Clinic in 2010 and as a result missed several tournaments in order to deal with his condition.
On stage his cool, calm persona hides most of his serious challenges. However, sometimes you can identify his problems which caused some darts fans have to take a dislike to Wade because he appeared grumpy. However, Wade himself, the pundits in the studio and darts fans have spread the word and now Wade is largely supported. He has always been a battler and, with the help of his girlfriend, he is back on his feet and playing arguably the best darts of his career right now. Last year he won the Masters and now he’s challenging for the top spots in the Premier League. As far as I saw it, every darts fan, player and pundit always supported Wade through his trials and tribulations and wanted him to get back to his best, which thankfully has happened. However, he has sent out this rather worrying tweet…
Darts is a professional sport. I shouldn’t have to remind people but I feel I have to. There are strict doping rules just like any other sport, see the PDC guide to drug restriction. But, players basically accusing someone of cheating because they’re on medication that can save their life is appalling. The treatment Wade goes through is absolutely necessary and it gets him feeling healthy or in other words, back to normal.
I recommend you read up on James’ mental health condition here
Thankfully twitter responded in support of Wade;
Robbie Green and ITV4 pundit, Chris Mason also chipped in with their support;
I did find it disappointing that these were the only two public displays of support from fellow darts players but at least the PDC Chairman has James’ back;
However, Hearn is denying that he has been approached by Wade or any other player tweeting;
Any comments made have to be categorically dealt with. I just hope Hearn isn’t hiding behind the standard procedure of a complaints system because, as darts fans know, he would stop anything that would paint darts in a bad light and reduce the pounds flooding into his bank account. If the mainstream media get confirmation on this story however, then Hearn will be forced to act. He has to realise that darts come first and if darts wants to hold modern values and look after its players, this situation has to be dealt with.
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