Special to SportsPsychology.com – by John F Murray – July 4, 2019 – The ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 would change the world forever. In this same spirit, on this July 4 and 243 years later, we hereby present a Declaration of Independence for team athletes all over the world, courtesy of sports psychology!
A Unanimous Declaration by the World of Athletes in All Sports
When, in the course of team sporting events, it becomes necessary for sporting people worldwide to dissolve the ignorance which has enslaved them, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the clear realization of the laws of nature and of what is entitled them, a decent respect to the goals of team and individual well-being and success requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to this enlightenment.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that while all men and women are not created equal in that they do not necessarily have the same level of inherent athletic talent or ability, they are nevertheless endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights and mental capacities, and that among these are knowledge, emotional well-being and the pursuit of excellence through all reasonable means of training, including mental training. To secure these rights, sports teams are instituted among coaches and administrators, deriving their just powers from the consent of the athletes, local community, and shareholders they serve. However, whenever any administrator or coach or other team official becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the athletes and others in the community to express themselves fully.
Some owners, coaches, administrators and managers in sports have sometimes overlooked the emotional and mental makeup of each and every player in a systematic and professional manner, even when there are issues of immediate and pressing importance that impact their teams and their players’ lives. Others have stigmatized mental illness when it exists, and refused to seek immediate help from qualified professionals. Still other owners, coaches, administrators and managers in sports have made critical decisions about the mental health of their players even without proper knowledge, credentials, or competence to do so.
We, therefore, as representatives of the entire sporting world, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world and to the supreme powers in sport for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of the world, solemnly publish and declare, that athletes have the right to ongoing mental assessment and training, to ongoing psychological counseling or mental coaching when needed, and the right to assert these needs freely and without reproach. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Sports Psychologist John F. Murray Along with Athletes the Entire World Over
If you agree with this declaration, please share with all your friends!