Do most people embrace or despise ex-NBA player Royce White?

He’s been called the most important basketball player of his generation, as much for what he doesn’t do as what he does. I hadn’t seen Royce play outside of a scattered game in college when I heard about the stand he was taking regarding mental health support in the NBA. I feel mental health acceptance is one of... show more He’s been called the most important basketball player of his generation, as much for what he doesn’t do as what he does.

I hadn’t seen Royce play outside of a scattered game in college when I heard about the stand he was taking regarding mental health support in the NBA. I feel mental health acceptance is one of the biggest problems in our society today, and for a professional athlete to take a stand at the expense of his own playing time as a first round pick of the Rockets was incredible and unprecedented. He certainly seemed to be admirable.

Then he came to Canada.

Royce wasn’t satisfied with the NBA’s response to supporting the mental health of himself and others, so after a stint in the D-League, he signed with the National Basketball League of Canada’s London Lightning. He has
played against my hometown St. John’s Edge several times.

Is he still talented at what he does? Hell yeah. He bangs down low in the post and scores 30+ points with ease with surprising dexterity for a big man; no one can question his abilities. So what’s the problem you ask?

Royce White is an asshole.

I say that unequivocally and not for want of just a handful of incidents. He claims to stand for mental health, but he is a bully. He’s apparently never seen a call he likes from officials, and will refuse to get back on defence in order to argue. You could chalk that by itself off as competitive nature, but Royce doesn’t stop there, oh no.
Update: He has been suspended for numerous altercations. He has used homophobic slurs on fans, and referred to others as ‘fat/drunk bastards’. He verbally assaults the deputy commissioner of the league. When his team repeatedly plead for him to get control, he only becomes more irate.
Update 2: He proclaims himself a ‘Top 10 player in the world’ and lashes in on Twitter to anyone who dares suggest otherwise, and demands other players give back awards he believes he alone deserves. He went as far as to call another team ‘terrible’ in public and guarantee a sweep (which didn’t happen). Can you imagine any... show more He proclaims himself a ‘Top 10 player in the world’ and lashes in on Twitter to anyone who dares suggest otherwise, and demands other players give back awards he believes he alone deserves. He went as far as to call another team ‘terrible’ in public and guarantee a sweep (which didn’t happen). Can you imagine any other professional athlete acting this way consistently and repeatedly?
Update 3: As one London sportswriter put it in a recent column, after Royce was suspended for 11 games and subsequently left the NBL for the latest of his tirades: “Royce occasionally has fair points to make, but if you bang your gong long and loud, eventually people will grow deaf.” I used to believe in Royce. I still... show more As one London sportswriter put it in a recent column, after Royce was suspended for 11 games and subsequently left the NBL for the latest of his tirades: “Royce occasionally has fair points to make, but if you bang your gong long and loud, eventually people will grow deaf.”

I used to believe in Royce. I still believe in his message, but I think it deserves a better messenger.
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