The recent acceptance that mental health is a real issue in the Black community that needs to be addressed and treated has been helped by celebrities such as Charlamagne Tha God and Jennifer Lewis who brought attention to the subject. But people tend to forget that Metta World Peace a.k.a Ron Artest was one of the first big name sports figures to admit that he had been dealing with his own personal difficulties back in 2010.
After helping lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their last Championship back in 2010, Metta World Peace famously thanked his psychotherapist during the post-game interview. Something that caught many off guard as it was something that not everyone would admit to. Now almost a decade later Showtime will be premiering a new documentary that showcases the journey through mental health help that Metta took in Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story.
Going back to when he was Ron Artest from the infamous Queensbridge projects in New York, the documentary explores why Metta didn’t open up about his inner struggles and how it impacted his behavior. Speaking to the New York Post, Peace explained how he felt about dealing with his issues when it was a taboo subject.
“In 1999, you weren’t trying to go out and say, ‘Hey, I am seeing a therapist,’ ” he says. “I was such a big talent. Usually people who have antics like myself, they just get rid of them.”
He ain’t lying. Back then if you spoke out about needing to see a therapist people would automatically think you were mentally weak or soft. But it’s a new day and people are finally coming around to the realization that the everyday struggle of being a minority can wear down your mental, spiritual and physical in ways that more people can relate to than not.
“I was ahead of my time,” World Peace says. “Back then, the media was like, ‘Oh, he’s crazy. He’s not ready to play at that level.’ Now the media is saying, ‘Get this person help.’ ”
It’s been quite the journey from the projects of Queensbridge to the top of the mountain in the NBA and now we’ll see just how Ron Artest was able to ascend to that glorious place.
Peep the trailer for Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story and let us know if you’ll be checking for it when it premieres this May 31 on Showtime.