The Basketball Review

A Weekly Podcast With Steve Smith & Anton Trees

Two Australian men discuss the National Basketball Association. 

On Medical Privacy

In Episode 2 of the Review podcast, Steve and I discussed the nature of medical privacy as it relates to professional sports. The conversation was prompted by the disclosures made by the Denver Nuggets following Ty Lawson's DUI arrest in July of this year. 

As is often the case, I went into the discussion ignorant. Google has rectified that situation.

 Credit:  Getty

Credit: Getty

This 2014 piece from Michael McChrystal delves into the tensions which define medical treatment of professional sportsmen and the ways in which medical privacy is contorted by working in a highly-visible profession in which your body largely determines your value. McChrystal writes:

What we encounter [...] in considering the privacy or transparency of medical information about professional athletes, are complex forces of short-term and long-term interests on the part of various stakeholders. Players, healthcare providers, teams, and leagues all have their own complicated interests when it comes to discovering and disclosing medical information about players. 

It's worth a read, particularly when we contemplate that increased awareness of depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug use within society will likely continue to lead to increased public awareness of (and thinkpieces dedicated to) the often profoundly private mental health concerns of the athletes we watch and read about.