By: Gus Wilson
On Sunday, October 31, 2021, the Atlanta Falcons were set to play against the Carolina Panthers. However, hours before the game, news broke out that the young star wide receiver for the Falcons, Calvin Ridley, would not play due to personal reasons. This was the second time this season Ridley would sit out of a game, in the last 3 games. Then, further developments were revealed on Ridley’s status.
Calvin Ridley released a statement on Twitter, which said “I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing.” The rest of this statement can be read on Ridley’s Twitter account. He then went on to thank everyone in the Falcons’ organization in his statement. This sort of situation also happened last year when Atlanta’s tight end, Hayden Hurst, addressed the media on his struggle with his mental health. Obviously, the Falcons are supporting Ridley’s decision to stop his football career for the time being, and there is no timetable for Ridley’s return to the field.
Ridley was selected 26th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft out of the University of Alabama. So far in his career, Ridley has 248 catches, 3,342 yards, and 28 touchdowns. He was coming off a career year in 2020 where he put up 90 catches, 1,374 yards, and 9 touchdowns. His promising career is off to a great start and he is only looking to improve in the future.
Mental health is a serious issue all around the world and can impact anyone and everyone, including athletes. You should always talk to a friend, family member, or any other important person in your life if you are struggling with mental health.