Arjun Kapoor stands in support of Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, Ben Stokes for prioritising mental health over sport

Arjun explained that in an era where we are “constantly watched and monitored,” everyone must listen patiently when these athletes speak up

author_img P Parthiban Published :  07th August 2021 07:18 PM   |   Published :   |  07th August 2021 07:18 PM
Arjun Kapoor comes out in support of sportspeople Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, and Ben Stokes who withdrew from their respective sports matches to prioritise mental health

Arjun Kapoor comes out in support of sportspeople Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, and Ben Stokes who withdrew from their respective sports matches to prioritise mental health

Actor Arjun Kapoor recently spoke to media sources and revealed that he supports the decision of sportspeople like Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles, and Ben Stokes to withdraw from their respective international tournaments to focus on their mental health.

Arjun explained that in an era where we are “constantly watched and monitored,” everyone must listen patiently when these athletes speak up since what they are going through is “reflective of what our generation is feeling.” He told media sources, “We have to encourage and laud people who are coming out to tell their story. We live in an era where we are constantly being watched and monitored. It is not easy to not have any downtime. So, when people like Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles and Ben Stokes speak up, we have to listen patiently because what they are going through is reflective of what our generation is feeling. These guys are all legends who successfully deal with immense pressure every single day and if they are sparking a conversation to prioritise mental health, we should listen very, very carefully (sic).”

Arjun Kapoor also opened up about his personal battle with obesity and how people’s neglect because of his “privilege” stopped them from seeing what he was going through mentally. He was quoted as saying, “Not apples to apples at all, but when I was battling obesity, it was brushed aside as I’m just a fat guy who is privileged and he must be eating and having a good time. No one bothered about what I was going through mentally (sic).”

Also read: Olympians are sharing what they eat between training and how they carb-load

The 2 States actor also urged people to normalise conversations about mental health, and spoke about how this digital world has robbed people of time to connect with themselves and loved ones. He told media sources, “These are very important conversations that people must have with their families and friends. We must normalise these conversations in society. In a digital world, we are being pushed to be constantly on. We are surrounded by cameras and we have to put up the best things for likes and comments. We hardly have time to connect with ourselves and our close ones without the presence of our phones. Plus, now, we have the pandemic which has made us all too boxed up (sic).”

Arjun went on to talk about how prominent figures speaking up about their mental health could have a major influence on others. He said, “It’s not been easy for everyone. So, when icons like them speak up, they have a huge influence on people across the world like me. It shows people that it is OK to be vulnerable and that it’s OK not to be OK. We all have to learn and unlearn and grow. Everyone should be allowed to go through their own journey because, honestly, everyone has a unique journey. We should not judge and pre-judge what a person is going through as it just defeats the purpose (sic).”

Arjun Kapoor concluded by hoping that society would be more caring towards people’s issues. “We should aim to build an empathetic society where people love and care for each other and try and understand what each other might be coping with (sic),” he was quoted as saying.

Here's a look at why these athletes withdrew from their respective tournaments:

Also read: Exclusive: Olympian Saikhom Mirabai Chanu in conversation with Indulge says, 'Let the girls dream and win'

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka, mental health, Arjun Kapoor

Tennis star Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open in July and wrote in a news magazine, “Perhaps we should give athletes the right to take a mental break from media scrutiny on a rare occasion without being subject to strict sanctions (sic).”

Naomi Osaka withdrew from Roland Garros after she was fined $15,000 for opting out of the news conference after her first-round victory. She was also reportedly threatened with disqualification or suspension from all four Grand Slam tournaments if she “avoided the media.”

She was quoted as saying in the magazine, “I communicated that I wanted to skip press conferences at Roland Garros to exercise self-care and preservation of my mental health. I stand by that. Athletes are humans. Tennis is our privileged profession, and of course there are commitments off the court that coincide. But I can’t imagine another profession where a consistent attendance record (I have missed one press conference in my seven years on tour) would be so harshly scrutinized.

Simone Biles

Simone Biles, mental health, Arjun Kapoor

Gymnast Simone Biles pulled out from this year’s Olympics halfway, after she struggled to orient herself while performing mid-air during last week’s team competition. She then withdrew from the all-around final and the first three apparatus finals. Simone later came back to claim a bronze medal in August 3’s closing beam.

She had pulled out due to a psychological condition called twisties, which is reportedly a state that results in a disconnect between the brain and body, with the subsequent loss of spatial awareness.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes, mental health, Arjun Kapoor

Ben Stokes dropped out from England’s Test series against India and said he was taking an indefinite break from cricket to focus on his mental well-being. Ben’s father Ged died in December 2020 after suffering from brain cancer over a period of one year.

Ben had also suffered from a finger injury throughout the summer, which had reportedly healed too slowly.
 

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