Aaron Lennon has shared an emotional statement in response to Dele Alli’s recent interview.
The former winger took to Instagram to praise Dele for being ‘very brave’, while also encouraging fans to treat footballers like they are human beings and not robots.
Dele has been flooded with support since he participated in an interview on Gary Neville’s YouTube channel, ‘The Overlap’.
The Everton midfielder discussed his decline in form in recent years, as well as his extremely difficult childhood that included drug dealing, being sent to Africa to learn discipline and his adoption.
Dele admitted that his struggles had resulted in him checking into a mental health facility following his return from his loan spell at Besiktas, where he spent six weeks this summer.
Lennon was eager to have his say on the 27-year-old’s interview after previously enduring his own mental health problems.
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The former Toffees attacker has been open about his struggles after he was detained under the Mental Health Act 2007 six years ago. Lennon was found wandering along a busy main road in Manchester when police feared for his safety.
What was Aaron Lennon’s response to Dele Alli’s interview?
Writing on his Instagram page, Lennon said: “After watching the Dele interview I hope people see that footballers are not robots, they are human beings who suffer from trauma, mental health issues and depression like everybody else.
“You don’t have to use these big platforms to abuse people. I’m not saying you can’t have your own opinion but maybe use it for more positive and helpful reasons.
“It doesn’t take much to push someone over the edge who is not in a good place.
“Amazing, inspirational, very brave interview Dele. You stay good brother and for anyone else out there struggling it’s ok not to be ok or feel great all of the time.
“Seek help, speaking to someone about this will really help. You are not alone, the light will shine again.”