By Connor Thomas
Early this morning, Lane Johnson released a statement on Twitter finally explaining the reason behind his absence from the Eagles over the past couple weeks of this season. Here is the tweet with the statement in its entirety:
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”und” dir=”ltr”><a href=”https://t.co/dshyS6xO2W”>pic.twitter.com/dshyS6xO2W</a></p>— Lane Johnson (@LaneJohnson65) <a href=”https://twitter.com/LaneJohnson65/status/1450066023345004544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 18, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
It’s a huge admission by Johnson, despite mental health becoming more of a focal point in sports and society in general over the past couple years. To be a man of Lane Johnson’s stature, in his profession, it must have still been incredibly difficult to share this information with millions of Eagles fans and the football world in general. Regardless of how normalized mental health awareness has become recently comparative to past times, it is still a tough task to admit even to your closest friends, much less to millions and millions of people. But here’s the good news for Johnson: those millions and millions of people should give him nothing but absolute support. Eagles fans, for all their faults, are fiercely loyal to their team. In his departure from the team, long time birds Tight End Zach Ertz told everyone as much. For a man like Lane Johnson, who has given his all to this team and helped bring a Super Bowl to Philadelphia, the reaction from the fan base should be incredibly supportive. It was for Pro-Bowl Guard Brandon Brooks when he admitted that he dealt with severe anxiety and panic attacks, and Johnson deserves the same backing from Eagles fans.
And yet, it shouldn’t have to be said that Johnson deserves this type of support because of his accolades. It doesn’t matter if the athlete is a Pro-Bowl Right Tackle or the worst punter in the NFL (sorry for the ricochet shot, punters), every person deserves the same type of treatment from fans when it comes to dealing with mental health issues like the ones Johnson is currently struggling with. As we continue to learn more about the normality and severity of these conditions, it becomes more and more clear just how difficult of a burden it can be at times. A player’s draft position, salary, statistics, or ability on the field should have no bearing on how it’s handled. So yes, is Lane Johnson a great football player? Absolutely, but he would deserve the utmost support from the fan base even if he wasn’t. So, kudos to Johnson for taking the step to make his difficulties public, and now it’s our turn, as fans of the Philadelphia Eagles, to turn the greatest fan base in the world into the greatest support system in the world. Johnson is going to return to play, and give this team his all. He deserves the same from each and every one of us.