Nkosi: MyPlayers 'support' Bulls on mental health journey
REACTION: The South African players’ union, MyPlayers, has thrown its collective weight behind the steps to support embattled Springbok Sibusiso Nkosi in his battle with his mental health issues.
The Bulls revealed on Tuesday that they would give the World Cup-winning Bok, Nkosi, the ‘space and time’ to seek the help he needs.
On Monday the Bulls confirmed that Nkosi had been located, safe and sound – ending several days of speculation about his whereabouts.
After lengthy and extensive efforts from the Bulls, in collaboration with a security company, Nkosi was located at the residence of his father in a suburb of Witbank.
Both the Blue Bulls Company Chief Executive Edgar Rathbone and the player confirmed that mental health was at the heart of his decision to step away from the game.
“On behalf of our members, staff and board, MyPlayers would like to express its considerable relief that Springboks and Bulls wing Sibusiso Nkosi has been found and that he is physically unscathed,” a statement from the players’ union said.
“We also want to express our gratitude to the Blue Bulls Company for their efforts to find and reach out to the player, and especially to Bulls CEO, Edgar Rathbone, for involving us as early as he did.”
The players’ union added that mental-health challenges are also prevalent in the professional game, as in other industries and occupations.
“Supporting athletes in this regard goes beyond just preparing them mentally to deliver strong performances on the rugby pitch,” the statement said.
“Professional athletes are people, first.
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#⃣REACTION: The @BlueBullsRugby are going to give @rugbyworldcup-winning @Springboks @SbuNkosi the ‘space and time’ to seek the help he needs#Rugby 🏉#RugbyUnion🌍
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) December 6, 2022
“The concerns for Sbu’s safety during the past three weeks were a reminder of this.
“However, much we wish he did not have to go through this experience, the industry – from players to employers, to representative organisations – should embrace this as an opportunity to do introspection, learn, grow, and elevate the importance of mental health support in our environment.
“By working together more closely, we can provide better proactive support to athletes in need of mental care.
“As the players’ organisation, we are providing all the necessary support to Sbu and the Bulls during this time.
“Out of respect for Sbu’s privacy, we will not disclose the nature of our support, but we are grateful to be in a position to be there for him and his employer as we embark on this journey together.”