At some point each day I watch SportsCentre on TSN to do my daily catching up on the day’s events. Today mixed in with the highlight reels, news of Lindy Ruff’s firing and the plays of the day, was a press conference of Canadian Tennis star Rebecca Marino announcing that she was temporarily leaving tennis after years of fighting depression and cyberbullying. Once a ranked in the top 50 in women’s tennis, she has been struggling in recent years. I could see it written all over her face. “I have been suffering from a form of depression for many years,” she said. “Depression is nothing to be ashamed about. I’m hoping by opening up about this, I can encourage someone to get the help they deserve.” When I came to work this morning, I couldn’t shake the sight of her distress and sorrow out of my mind.
I used to think that bullying was the cruel part of growing up and was something that just went away as you entered adult life. How wrong I am. I’ve been the butt end of so many jokes I’ve learned to just let it slide. One guy let into me online and called me a “Ron Howard wannabe”. That’s both lame & funny. Othertimes it’s not as easy. There are the comments that shake me to the bone and stay with me for days.
One of best parts of my day is a time when a bunch of us are prepping for our radio shows and we share a lot stories we’ve read and things that we’ve seen and done. It’s as close to locker room atmosphere as you’re ever going to get in radio. Kevin Jack, who works with our brother station CKTB, passed along a story posted on thestar.com. that hit home in the wake of Rebecca Marino’s press conference. It’s a poem written by Canadian poet Shane Koyczan about bullying. With over a million hits, it’s gone viral.
Please, take a moment to watch this: