Royce White Has No Chill Button


When Royce White was drafted to the Houston Rockets, we knew things would be kind of tricky. Upon selection there was talk of his anxiety disorder being a problem. Royce doesn’t like flying in planes so that would make traveling with the team a difficult process.

The Rockets would gamble on him because of the immense talent that he had. As an Iowa State Cylcone, White led his team in points, rebounds, and assists. He was a classic example of a point forward who could play in the post or on the perimeter.

Such immense skill would’ve landed a player without an anxiety disorder within the top five picks of any draft. Because of the disorder, Royce was dragged down to the 16th pick of the draft.

In the beginning, the Rockets were willing to work with White–and largely still are–to manage his disorder. They gave him special treatment that many organizations wouldn’t afford to a player simple because of locker room implications. How do you think veteran players would feel after a rookie is allowed a different means of travel separate from the rest of the team? Some kind of way, I could imagine. And it probably wouldn’t be a positive way, Royce’s disorder aside.

Of course, this was only going to happen if both sides could meet each other’s requirements. White had come out and said that they had reached a happy medium, and all seemed well. That turned out not to be the case. Each side had said that the other failed to meet their requirements.

White has had an apparent problem with the way that things have been handled since he’s been drafted. He’s famously been subject to a lot of criticism on twitter, along with other social media platforms. White has responded by airing out dirty laundry between he and the Houston Rockets in an effort to get the masses on the same page with himself. White’s ploy was very enticing for many, but after months and months of going through these same rants people have grown tired and weary.

Sympathy for White and his disorder has grown weaker and weaker by the hour. Right now, it seems to be at an all-time low.

Today, a statement was released by Royce White in response the the Houston Rockets giving him a D-League assignment. I had unfollowed White long ago for reasons of my own, but that statement was sure to leave him with an even weaker backing than ever before. Namely because of the insensitivity and the ignorance that was showcased by the following statement.

However, it saddens and frightens me to know that in this situation all the decision makers involved have been informed of all the medical dynamics, and yet still refuse to adhere to medical sensibility. In hindsight of the recent tragedies in this country, that had mental illness variables, you would think it would encourage people to act more proactively in that arena. You would think that decision makers who are not well informed about mental health, would take the consultation and recommendation of those who are. You would think we would start to do everything possible to not let the tragic consequences befall us first, before we ask the logical question, “why?”, “who knew?” “how could we have helped?. Why not take a proactive approach of “who knows?” “how can we listen?”, “how can we support now?”

There are many who were rooting for him to play and for the sides to come together to conquer this disorder. For White to compare himself and his own situation to the events that happened in Newtown, Connecticut a few weeks ago is insensitive. That situation is larger than just him and his disorder–any disorder for that matter.

Innocent children lost their lives that day and heroes sacrificed themselves in an effort to safe the lives of those children. Families lost loved ones; other children lost friends; America, no, the world lost 20 bright futures that day.

White’s situation? An player who is supposed to play doesn’t want to play. He has a disorder that doesn’t allow him to do certain things, and neither side has found a happy medium in their situation and are bickering over what the next move should be. Any lives lost? No. Any children gone? No. Just one player who isn’t going to play basketball. He has a lot of other things he can do–plenty of other mediums he can make a living off of. He’s got the platform and its not going away anytime soon.

Royce White’s twitter bio reads as follows: #HUMAN 1st & Foremost, Then… Humanitarian, Writer and Imaginer. {RedNation} #AnxietyTroopers #BeWell

For just a humanitarian, he’s showing no humility with this statement. He says he’s a human first, but yet he takes no one else in consideration when making these statements. White is abusing the publicity that he’s getting and showing us that he’s basically a jerk, for lack of a better word.

White’s lack of sensitivity to anyone else’s situations has been unbelievable. Having a disorder doesn’t give you the right to be and say whatever you want. He’s correct–his disorder doesn’t make him less than anyone else. But it doesn’t make him better than anyone else, either. He’s got to realize that. I feel for him and the situation he’s in, but there’s no way that making statements like these are acceptable.

White has exceptional talent and deserves to play in the NBA. Whether he plays or not, White has to realize that some things are bigger than himself.


4 responses to “Royce White Has No Chill Button

  1. I think his allusions to recent tragedies are not trying to hyperbolize his issues. He recognizes that he, as an NBA player (well, draft pick…), has a platform to speak about the importance of getting help for those with mental health issues. Recent tragedies are undeniably linked to such issues, and White is only using them as an example of why it is vital to recognize the issues and provide help. Obviously, his specific situation may seem trivial as compared to events like the Newtown shooting. However, they are both pieces of a larger puzzle, which is the overall state of care for those with mental health issues.

  2. I would note that Royce’s decision to let this saga play out largely on his Twitter account is a poor one in my mind, but the concept behind his words is an important one.

    • No doubt, I would definitely agree that the concept is an important one. There needs to be more help offered for those with mental issues and disabilities in this country. I feel for him and I hope he gets well eventually. However, I think that this was an abuse of the platform that he has been afforded. I think that there’s a place for what he’s saying, but bringing the Newtown shootings into what he’s going through isn’t called for. Yes, its important to note that mental issues can lead to tragedies like these, but using it to leverage his position with the Rockets seems foul to me.

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