MLB's Andrelton Simmons On Opting Out In 2020, Pandemic Led to Suicidal Thoughts
MLB's Andrelton Simmons I Opted Out of 2020 Season to Get Help ... Suicidal Thoughts Caused By COVID Pandemic
2/3/2021 6:42 AM PT
Andrelton Simmons -- one of the best shortstops in baseball -- says he opted out of the end of the 2020 season to deal with a crippling depression caused by the COVID pandemic ... revealing it got so bad, he was having suicidal thoughts.
"It was tough for me mentally to where the thought of suicide crossed my mind," Simmons said in a text message interview Tuesday with the Orange County Register.
"I was really saddened by how much I was hearing about the death toll and seeing how smaller businesses were going out of business, and I was a little depressed at how the effects of all the new rules and fears were gonna affect people's livelihoods and how disconnected people were becoming," Simmons said.
The 31-year-old Gold Glove winner was still playing for the L.A. Angels when he opted out in Sept. 2020 -- missing the final 5 games of the season. He has since signed a new contract with the Minnesota Twins.
But, in his interview with the OC Register, Simmons says, "The idea of finishing the  season in a bubble was too much for me to handle."
Simmons also reveals he's dealt with suicidal thoughts in the past and made it a priority to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Coming to Target Field this summer. 👀#MNTwins pic.twitter.com/qclgi7CvKW— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) January 31, 2021 @Twins
Fortunately, Simmons began seeing a therapist who helped him "let go of those thoughts."
Now, he's encouraging anyone else who's battling mental health issues to follow his lead.
"I know there’s the fear of seeking help/assistance because of the perception of people thinking there’s something wrong with you," Simmons said, "but I think in reality there are way more people than you might think that are going through stressful stuff."
Simmons continued, "You’re not alone. You don’t have to keep everything bottled up. Find someone that can help you express your emotions freely and that can assist you with it.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.