Johnny Manziel reveals Bipolar Disorder, is the NFL ready to take mental health seriously?

FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2015, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel speaks with media members following the team's 30-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game, in Seattle. Manziel has been suspended for the first four games of next season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.The suspension announced Thursday, June 30, 2016, is not related to the NFL's domestic violence policy, but the free agent quarterback would be subject to it if he signs with another team. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund, File)

For a while now, Johnny Manziel has been the butt of many jokes when it comes to party guy who partied his way out of the NFL. But with his disclosure today of his diagnosis of bipolar disorder, Manziel showed us his more personal side and has us thinking a little bit more about how we view guys like him.

It also makes you think about how the NFL views mental disorders. If past indications mean anything, the answer is not well. All you have to do is look at players like Mike Webster and Junior Seau to see how the NFL has treated this issue in the past.

Now granted, those are men who were suffering from mental illness due to numerous concussions throughout their careers and there is no evidence to suggest that is the case here with Manziel. But the fact is now, he does have an illness.

Now you might be saying, Johnny Football isn’t in the league anymore, so why is this their problem? Well, right now it’s not. But, Manziel did also say in his recent interview that he is training and hopes to have another shot at the NFL one day. And if a team does decide to give him a shot, you know this is one of the things that will be talked about right off the bat.

Another question here is, will this revelation hurt the chances of Manziel being signed? Will he be discriminated against because of his mental health just because some teams don’t want to deal with the press? Or more likely, they will say they don’t want to sign him because of the media distraction that comes along with a persona such as Johnny Football.

From the outside looking in, it certainly doesn’t look good for Manziel to have a future in the NFL one way or another at this point. And if it’s for the reason that I suspect it would be, then that is just sad.




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