top of page

Men's Mental Health: Mitch Marner Deserves Better

Mitch Marner, one of the brightest talents in the NHL, has been a cornerstone for the Toronto Maple Leafs since he was drafted fourth overall in 2015. With his dazzling playmaking ability, relentless work ethic, and dedication to the game, Marner quickly became a fan favorite. However, the intense scrutiny and high expectations that come with playing in a hockey-crazed city like Toronto has a dark side. The backlash from fans, is shaming, riddled with betrayal, and threats of abandonment. On any one faced with these hurdles, no matter the money or fame, would be in need of some serious support.

Toronto is a city with a deep love for hockey and an equally profound hunger for success. The Maple Leafs, have not won a Stanley Cup since 1967, and the pressure on current players to break this drought is immense. As one of the team's top performers, Marner is at the center of these expectations. Every game, every play, and every decision is scrutinized by fans and media alike. When the team falls short, it’s players like Marner who bear the brunt of the disappointment.

Shame: The Harsh Reality of Criticism

Public criticism is a constant in professional sports, but in Toronto, it can be exceptionally harsh. Marner has faced significant criticism for perceived shortcomings, especially during the playoffs. The team's inability to advance past the first round has often been laid at his feet, overshadowing his regular-season success. This public shaming can deeply affect an athlete’s confidence and self-esteem, making it difficult to perform at their best. And while it's a team sport, this city and place the weight of this loss directly on his shoulders…

Betrayal: The Changing Tide of Fan Allegiance

Fans are the lifeblood of any sports team, and their support can be incredibly uplifting. However, when the tide turns, it can feel like a betrayal. Marner, who has enjoyed immense popularity, is now experiencing the darker side of fan allegiance. Boos from the home crowd, derogatory comments on social media, and a general sense of disapproval can make a player feel isolated and undervalued. This perceived betrayal by those who once cheered for him can be devastating to his mental health.

Abandonment: The Loneliness of Professional Sports

Playing in a high-pressure environment can be isolating. The life of a professional athlete is often glamorous from the outside, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Marner has faced moments where it has to feel like the support system around him is eroding. Whether it’s media scrutiny, fan backlash, or even internal team dynamics, the feeling of abandonment can be profound. The loneliness that comes with feeling unsupported can exacerbate stress and anxiety, making it harder to cope with the demands of the sport.

The Path Forward: Supporting Mental Health in Sports

It’s crucial for fans, media, and the sports community to recognize the impact their words and actions have on athletes. Mitch Marner is not just a hockey player; he’s a human being with emotions and vulnerabilities. Supporting mental health means fostering a culture of compassion and understanding. Constructive criticism is part of the game, but it should never cross the line into personal attacks.

Mitch Marner's journey in Toronto is a testament to the highs and lows of professional sports. While his on-ice performance has brought joy to many, the off-ice challenges he faces highlight the need for greater awareness and support for mental health not only in sports but for men in general. Toronto's passionate fanbase has the power to lift its players up or tear them down. By choosing compassion and support over shame, betrayal, and abandonment, we can help men thrive.

He has done so much for this city, he is our hometown boy and we have left him. Why would he want to play here when there are a bunch of cities that would love to have him.

This is why awareness of men's mental health is so important..because we treat them as capital that isn't performing and not like human beings.

And should this post ever make its way to Mitch, I say… you are everything this city isn't. Stay and make them eat their words.

3 views0 comments


bottom of page