Royce White is not a "head case." The Houston
Rockets rookie has an anxiety disorder, which includes a fear of flying and an
unease about running wind sprints, among other things. But to label him a
"head case" is harsh based on his mental illness.
Mayberry, who covers the Oklahoma City Thunder for The Oklahoman, made the
mistake of belittling White's condition in a story Tuesday. In explaining to fans why the Thunder were not
interested in drafting the forward out of Iowa State, Mayberry relayed that White
missed the Rockets' media day and the team's first practice, calling him
"the definition of a head case."
After several observers criticized Mayberry for his
offhand insult, Mayberry issued an apology Thursday.
"I should have policed myself better," Mayberry
wrote. "I do not personally know Royce White and I was wrong to attack
Nation's Evan Dunlap, who says he suffers from an anxiety disorder and clinical
depression, was particularly harsh on Mayberry.
"I'd argue that White is anything but a head case; he's
a young man trying to battle an illness, for goodness sake!" Dunlap
writes. "Mayberry's insensitivity and ignorance is one reason why folks
with an anxiety disorder — and there are many of us, from all walks of life —
face such stigma."
For what it is worth, the Celtics were rumored to be
interested in drafting White if he fell to them at Nos. 21 and 22 in last
June's draft. The Rockets selected White with the 16th overall pick.
Photo via Facebook/Royce White.