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Bills open up on mental health, talk Simone Biles

Bills OL Cody Ford and DB Tre'Davious White emphasized the importance of mental health as an athlete after Friday's training camp practice.
Credit: AP
Buffalo Bills safety Tre'Davious White makes a catch during an NFL football training camp practice in Orchard park, N.Y., Wednesday July 28 2021. (AP/ Photo Jeffrey T. Barnes)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — As the world watched the most decorated American gymnast, Simone Biles, leave Tuesday's team competition then withdraw from Thursday's individual all-around competition in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to prioritize her mental health, it's sparked a conversation on the subject.

The Bills didn't shy away from talking about mental health, with offensive lineman Cody Ford proudly discussing his decision to take action this offseason.

"I did find a mental coach that I really liked," Ford said after the Bills training camp practice on Friday.

"That was the one thing that really helped me a lot was just being able to talk to someone other than, you know, a coach or teammate, or even just a friend but someone who's just so unbiased and, you know, they just listen to you and they just take everything in... Just being able to go one on one with her and express my feelings, it really helped out."

"It's been... not frowned upon on to talk about," cornerback Tre'Davious White said noting improvements in discussions regarding mental health in athletics but said, "People see athletes as the superhumans that don't have emotion."

On Biles' difficulties in the Olympic Games, White said, "She's been doing it at a high level, and the expectations on her is to continue to do it at a high level. If she don't do it at a high level, you know it is so much backlash on it because there's an expectation here, so it takes a lot."

Discussing his mental health has improved Ford's outlook on the game and approach to practices after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year.

"For me to be able to go back out there and do what I love... I'm just happy to be out there, you know. I'm dancing around I've never smiled so much at practice... It's a new mentality."