NOVEMBER 13, 2020 TACKLE TALK NOVEMBER - Khari Jones
Khari Jones understands the highs and lows of being a professional athlete.
A former Most Outstanding Player in the Canadian Football League (CFL), Jones earned the love and respect of CFL fans nationwide during his nine-year career, which included a memorable five-year run with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
His ascent to the top wasn’t easy however. The early stages of Jones’ pro journey involved being a backup pivot, where he felt the pressure to perform or risk being cut. This took a toll on him mentally, but he kept his guard up, worried that if he showed weakness he might be perceived as “vulnerable or weak.”
Jones is just as active as a mental health ambassador off the field. For 14 years, he’s been connected with LivingWorks, a Calgary-based provider of suicide prevention training solutions. The organization hits close to home, as Jones has had people in his life that have dealt with depression and thoughts of suicide.
Leading by example, he’s made a habit of ensuring his players know it’s okay to be vulnerable, especially when it comes to mental health. This is applicable not only at the pro level, but also the amateur sports level, where Jones preaches communication from both player and coach.
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