Nike launches athlete-focused mental health podcast with Karl-Anthony Towns as first guest – talks about the loss of 8 family members during the pandemic

Nike has long established itself as a brand that touts the power of perseverance with its iconic “Just Do It” slogan. Now, in time for Mental Health Awareness Month, they’re encouraging people to do their best.

The sportswear giant recently announced the launch of No Off-Season, a podcast that highlights candid discussions with Nike athletes hosted by Crisis Text Line mental health experts Dr. Shairi Turner and Natalia Dayan. According to a statement, the aim is to show people facing mental health issues that they are not alone and that there is strength in asking for help.

The first episode features a moving conversation with NBA Center Karl-Anthony Towns, who has previously spoken about the challenges he faces after losing eight family members to COVID-19 over the past two years.

Rounding out the guest list, Raven Saunders, Laurie Hernandez, Marko Cheseto, among others, share aspects of their lives rarely seen by their fans.

“Mental health is an essential part of our personal well-being and fitness. It is just as important as physical health to achieve our full potential – in sports and in life,” Vanessa Garcia-Brito, Nike vice president of communications, said in a statement. “We know that for athletes to succeed, it is important to cultivate a healthy mind and body every day. No Off-Season provides a forum to bring more voices into the mental health conversation and help de-stigmatize requests for support. No one should feel alone.

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