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Joe Barksdale

Joe is a multi-talented individual who, having embarked on a successful career in the NFL, emerged as a passionate mental health advocate, and found himself unexpectedly delving into the realms of comedy and music. Find out more about why Joe joined Head In The Game.

We are thrilled to announce Joe Barksdale as our inaugural Collaborator for the Head In The Game campaign!

Joe is a multi-talented individual who, having embarked on a successful career in the National Football League (NFL), emerged as a passionate mental health advocate, and found himself unexpectedly delving into the realms of comedy and music. We are privileged to collaborate with this inspirational individual.

Here’s why Joe decided to join Head In The Game campaign:

Joe’s Professional Sports Background

His NFL journey began with the Oakland Raiders, where he was drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Joe quickly established himself as a reliable and powerful force on the offensive line. Subsequent stints with the St. Louis Rams (2012-2014), San Diego Chargers (2015-2018), and Arizona Cardinals (2018) solidified his reputation as a formidable presence in the league.

Standing at 6 feet 5 inches and weighing 325 pounds, Joe made a significant impact as an offensive tackle during his tenure with various NFL teams, showcasing his athletic prowess and dedication to the game.

Moreover, his ability to protect quarterbacks and contribute to the success of his teams garnered him respect among fans and peers alike.

His Mental Health Journey

Beyond the sporting field, Joe faced a silent opponent – his own mental health.

In a courageous and unprecedented move, he decided to share his personal struggles with depression and anxiety with the world.

Joe’s openness about his ongoing mental health challenges aims to break down the pervasive stigma surrounding these issues, especially within the context of professional sports. His vulnerability resonates with many, as he becomes a beacon of hope for those grappling with similar mental health battles.

Joe has openly shared that he has been diagnosed with clinical depression. It’s a daily fight and probably will be for the rest of his life, but he wants people facing similar challenges to know they’re not alone.

Joe’s advocacy for mental health extends beyond personal disclosure. He actively engages in conversations about the importance of mental health awareness, encouraging individuals to seek help and fostering a supportive environment.

By leveraging his platform as an NFL player, he challenges stereotypes and demonstrates that strength comes in various forms, including acknowledging and addressing one’s mental health.

Since retiring from professional football, Joe has also been formally diagnosed with autism and has been very open about how this has impacted him and his family.

A Man of Many Talents: Comedian, Singer, and Songwriter

Joe also has many creative talents that are both a key part of his identity and central to combating his mental health struggles.

He embraced the therapeutic power of humor, venturing into the world of stand-up comedy, and using laughter to connect with audiences and share his unique perspective on life.

Comedy became a vehicle for Joe to navigate and make sense of the complexities of his experiences, including both the highs and lows of his football career and mental health journey.

Joe’s comedic endeavors showcased a different side of his personality, highlighting his versatility and ability to find joy amidst life’s challenges. Through storytelling and humor, he addressed serious topics with a light touch, inviting audiences to join him on a journey of self-discovery and resilience. The intersection of comedy and mental health advocacy allowed him to reach diverse audiences and create spaces for open dialogue about wellbeing.

Joe is also a musician and has released three albums on Spotify.

Overall, Joe’s legacy extends beyond the field, marked by a commitment to authenticity, resilience, and compassion. Whether it’s through his formidable performances in the NFL, his advocacy for mental health, or his comedic pursuits, Joe Barksdale has left an indelible mark, inspiring others to embrace their vulnerabilities, seek help when needed, and find joy in unexpected places.

Together, we aim to amplify Head In The Game’s message, raising awareness of mental health, and ensuring that no one faces the challenges of mental health alone.