ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (KSNT) – Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce is known for being a competitor on the field, but now he’s trying to fight a more important battle, by opening up about his mental health.
“It’s a big thing for men to be able to talk and speak their feelings, especially to the one’s next to them and be vulnerable in those moments,” Kelce said.
Kelce wasn’t alone in his comments. Defensive end Mike Danna says that he’s taking steps to open up more.
“Mental health is serious,” Danna said. “A lot of guys try to just leave it on the table and act like we’re men, we can just deal with it.”
Former K-State Wildcat and Chiefs linebacker Elijah Lee says that he knows the struggles people face through first hand experience. Lee went through 15 different schools growing up and saw many walks of life.
“Those free lunches at school aren’t always the best. So now you’re going through the day kind of groggy as a kid, but when you eat the right things, have the right mental health, stay positive… I can do this and not taking no for an answer… sky’s the limit,” Lee said.
Exposing your vulnerabilities can be hard in a tough sport like football, which is why Kelce is trying to help end the stigma.
“That’s what being a brother is. That’s what mentorship is. That’s what being a good teammate is in my book,” Kelce said. “I try and have it ooze out of people. Be that friendly force and hopefully everybody else picks up on it. I think it’s more a discussion now than it has been.”
Danna says that even the small steps help.
“It’s just about having the communication and the chemistry to be comfortable to have those conversations and to take those next steps. Mental health is serious.”