It wasn’t to congratulate him on a stellar game or trash talk but to thank him for publically opening up on his mental health.
“Hey, I’ve got a lot of respect for what you did, came out and talked about”, Hurst said in a video captured on Sunday. Me and my mom have a foundation about suicide prevention. Respect the hell out of you for talking about it, man.”
— Hayden Hurst (@haydenrhurst) September 22, 2020
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Prescott Opens Up About Anxiety & Depression
Prescott recently shared how he sought help in the offseason for anxiety and depression due to the death of his older brother, Jace, and the coronavirus pandemic. Jace Prescott died by suicide in April.
After Prescott opened up, Fox Sports analyst Skip Bayless had some questionable comments to say that didn’t sit well with Hurst which is why he made it a point to say something to the QB star.
“To be totally honest with you, when I saw what Skip Bayless said, it just really upset me — that Dak had the courage to come out and talk about that and how it affected his family, how it affected him — and those [Bayless] comments, I thought, were just disgusting,” Hurst told ESPN. “For a guy to come out and talk about that topic and use his platform to try and help and save lives, I’ve got nothing but respect for him because I know how hard it is going through stuff like that.”
Hurst’s Darkest Days
Not too long again after signing with the Atlanta Falcons, Hurst opened up about his own past anxiety and depression problems.
He attempted suicide in January 2016 when he was in college at South Carolina, per First Coast News. The depression hit him hard after he had an unsuccessful stint in minor league baseball as a pitcher due to a throwing condition known as “the yips.” Hurst began using drugs and drinking heavily, then tried to slit his wrist one night. He survived what he calls his “come to Jesus moment,” and now he shares his story with others about dealing with depression in hopes of helping them.
Hurst founded the Hayden Hurst Foundation with his mother, Cathy, to raise awareness of mental health issues in children and teens by funding mental health services and programs through donations and fundraising events.
A New Collaboration
Clearly, Hurst went through a very dark time at USC so he could connect with how Prescott was feeling.
Prescott responded to Hurst with a suggestion that the two collaborate someday. I don’t think he was expecting that.
“I thought it was awesome,” Hurst said via ESPN. “I’m sure Dak Prescott doesn’t really know who I am. But I know the courage that takes, because a lot of people don’t like talking about mental health. They’re afraid to talk about it. They’re embarrassed. If guys like Dak Prescott can come out and talk about it, I think he’s going to save a lot of lives. I think that’s cool. I admire him. And I’ll be a Dak Prescott fan forever. I think he’s an awesome guy.”