Just a day removed from Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery announcing he was taking time away from the game to attend to his struggle with anxiety, Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis seemingly saw an opportunity to expose bad fan behavior.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jackson-Davis posted on his Twitter page a copy of a handwritten letter sent to him from someone named Tim Weaver.
Jackson-Davis introduced the letter with a reference to the mental health issues players contend with, and he tagged the Twitter account of the author of the letter.
“You wonder why players experience mental health issues and problems,” Jackson-Davis wrote. “We are going to continue to get better as a team as we continue this journey. Thank you @TimWeaver20 for your words of encouragement! Go Hoosiers!”
Among the many vile things Weaver said to Jackson-Davis, he called the Indiana senior a “horrible leader,” called the team soft, and said he wished Race Thompson had not returned this season.
Here is a photo of the letter sent to Jackson-Davis by Weaver.
Jackson-Davis appeared to tag the correct Twitter account, because it was an active account when he first made the post, and it was deactivated moments later, and then later reactivated. Weaver did not dispute that he was the author of the letter, and instead engaged with other users on the topic.
Another Twitter user named Matt Saunders decided to challenge Jackson-Davis’ decision to post the letter, ironically suggesting that if he won more games he wouldn’t have to deal with crazy fans.
“Why are you sharing this,” Saunders wrote in response to Jackson-Davis. “People deal with criticism like this every day while not getting the admiration and benefits that you do. Just win and you won’t have to acknowledge dumb critics.”
Jackson-Davis responded directly to Saunders.
“The “shut up and win” narrative is stupid,” Jackson-Davis said. “I’m a human being first then a basketball player. If you don’t know about my character then don’t speak on it. simple.”
Indiana head coach Mike Woodson was asked yesterday about the stress players are under before McCaffery went public with his struggle with anxiety, and before Jackson-Davis’ Twitter post. The question was asked in the context of social media, but a handwritten letter like Weaver’s strikes an even more personal chord.
“It’s tough, man, because it’s hurting a lot of athletes I think,” Woodson said. … “You hear good things one day, and the next day it’s all tumbling down on you. A lot of these cats, they just can’t mentally take it. It’s sad. … When I catch a guy that’s down or he’s going through some situations, man, I just hope he comes and talks to me where we can possibly get him help, and they’re not out on the limb by themselves.”
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