Carson Daly Credits Pro Athletes Speaking Up About Mental Health for Destigmatizing the Topic

The 'Today' host praised pro athletes like Kevin Love and Dak Prescott for speaking up about mental health

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty</p>

Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty

Carson Daly has been vocal about dealing with his own mental health struggles, and he says that the athletes like Kevin Love and Dak Prescott who blazed the trail by speaking out publicly deserve the credit.

As part of May's Mental Health Awareness Month, the Today host, 49, was featured on Verywell Mind, where he praised pro athletes for speaking their minds — about their minds.

Daly was interviewed for the informational and educational website's first-ever "Verywell Mind 25," an awards program "honoring the top thought leaders, experts and advocates making a positive impact on mental health today," according to the organization.

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In the interview, the former MTV and late-night personality discussed a number of athletes he admired, both for their skills in the game, but also for their voices on the topic of mental health.

An honest interview given by NBA star Love a few years back about dealing with panic attacks and anxiety made Carson recognize his own struggles.

Getty Images Kevin Love
Getty Images Kevin Love

“[I] had never read that or seen that or quite frankly heard anybody so famous talk about it, and I experienced one myself. I told my colleagues at work while we were watching this piece on air, ‘Guys, this was me. This happened to me at MTV,'" he said.

Daly also addressed NFL players who spoke up about good mental health, who in turn helped break down a wall.

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“We look at NFL players like these gladiators on Sunday who are impenetrable to pain; they’re the man, so they can’t be hurt, they can’t get hurt," he said. "And yet there are so many leaders in that space who are willing enough to talk about their mental health journeys, and they own it. There’s so much power in that because there are so many millions of young men that see that.”

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Highlighting Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott as a powerful example, Daly said the star QB speaking about his brother’s 2020 suicide made an impact.

“[There] were a few ESPN critics who said, ‘He’s America’s team quarterback. He shouldn’t talk about that, he shouldn’t cry on camera. It shows he’s weak.’ And it was so nice to see so many people not take that side and say, ‘No, I think it’s great that he was vulnerable and talked about it.' "

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