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Jonathan Stewart was one of the most physical players in Panthers franchise history. The former Carolina running back made a living out of breaking tackles and adding yards after contact. Tough as Stewart is, he’s smart enough to understand that mental health issues are very real and affect professional athletes just like the rest of us.
These issues are trending right now because of tennis star Naomi Osaka’s decision to withdraw from the French Open after she was fined for not speaking to the media. Stewart says he stands with Osaka.
Panthers fans should understand where Osaka is coming from as well as anyone. Former QB Cam Newton was practically crucified for walking out of a press conference following the toughest loss of his career.
Media obligations are a part of playing any sport at the highest level in the public eye. However, there has to be room for exceptions. Good for Stewart for being on the right side.