Houston Rocket and mental health advocate Royce White joined HuffPost Live Monday to talk about an issue he believes is completely misunderstood in professional sports: mental illness. White, who the Rockets took with their first-round draft pick in 2012, suffers from anxiety disorder and a fear of flying, and in early November took an absence from the team due to mental health issues and his disapproval of how the Rockets addressed his condition.
The rookie explained his absence then in a statement, saying: "The failure to meet my requests for support will end with me being unhealthy and that is not a consequence that I am willing to accept to play any sport."
After nearly three months off the court, White played his first professional game in February -- not for the Rockets, but for the Rockets' affiliate team in the NBA developmental league, basketball's equivalent of Major League Baseball's minor leagues. HuffPost Live Host Marc Lamont Hill asked White if he felt that his assignment to the D-league was a punishment for his mental health advocacy. White responded that while he had no comment on the Rockets motives for sending him to the D-league, he did believe that the Rockets, the NBA and its leadership want him gone.
If I was to make an educated guess, I would guess that Adam Silver and David Stern and the Rockets organization, some other owners in the league, GMs, want me gone. And why do they want me gone? Because business is about convenience, not about doing what's necessary. It's about cutting overhead... And a lot of times, what's best for us as human beings doesn't meet that criteria for business people.
White joined a conversation that included former NFL player Keith McCants, founder of the Siwe Project Bassey Ikpi, and mental health advocate Mychal Denzel Smith.
Watch the Full Segment on HuffPost Live.