The Truth Has a Voice: Kevin Love, The Times, and Mental Health

Thursday, November 29th: Cohen Auditorium was packed with eager fans and mentees, aspiring and practicing journalists, and moved observers as Kevin Love, NBA All-Star and basketball champion for the Cleveland Cavaliers, led the Tufts community in a conversation surrounding mental illness. As a part of the New York Times’ Initiative, "Get With The Times," Tufts students and community members had the incredible opportunity to host Kevin Love and Sports of The Times columnist, Juliet Macur. Get With The Times is an event series conducted by the New York Times centered around addressing pressing issues and controversial debates on the forefront of college students’ minds.

 

Love spoke with the community about the contemporary stigma surrounding mental illness. He mentioned the pressure with which all people, from athletes to young adults, contend to put on a brave face and disregard even the most painful thoughts and emotions. Love spoke of his own struggles to not only grapple with his battle against mental illness but also to share his story publicly.

 

The event was incredibly moving to basketball and sports fans, who often view top players as heroes, and non fans, some of whom wrestle with the same difficulties. After taking the initial risky step towards speaking up, Love has championed the movement towards a more open and productive discussion surrounding mental health. He has received incredible responses and he urges everyone, especially college students, to be change-makers at this moment when we have the possibility of influencing the rhetoric surrounding mental illness.

 

The event was broadcasted to college campus watch parties across the country. Selected Tufts students had the opportunity to ask Love questions. Additionally a few students from other campuses joined in the discussion through video responses. Her Campus and the students involved in the Tufts Her Campus Chapter played an important role in organizing the event and welcoming The Times and Love to campus.