Dion Waiters missed nearly the entire calendar year of 2018 after undergoing ankle surgery. A lot of fans and sports pundits saw photos and mocked him for seemingly gaining weight.
Me and Dion Waiters on that same offseason diet except his bank account is full. pic.twitter.com/Vu6786lEBm— ㅤ (@ZachRogacion) September 26, 2018
much like Dion Waiters, i have gotten fat over the past year— sad sports fan (@legsanity) September 26, 2018
Even Heat coach Erik Spoelstra mentioned Waiters’ conditioning as an issue he needed to work on in his end-of-season press conference.
Erik Spoelstra mentions how Dion Waiters can help down the stretch, after "getting healthy, getting to the right weight and body fat."— Five Reasons Sports Network (@5ReasonsSports) April 12, 2019
And now, Waiters has responded to the criticism in his own Instagram post. He mentioned that he came off one of the “most depressing and frustrating times of my life” after suffering the injury. He said that he promised himself to “get back to where I was before the injury.”
View this post on Instagram
Last year when I came off 1 of the most depressing & frustrating times of my life. Coming off injury & not feeling like myself nor looking like myself I was in a dark place mentally & physically , Because the game I love so much was taken away due to season ending surgery. Now a days with this social media ran world they laughed at me made jokes etc not knowing what I was battling or going through everyday. So instead of me joining the circus I told myself you from (Philly) you’ve been through worst shit in your life than this. So I promise myself I would work my ass off & get back to where I was before the injury. I’m not done yet but I kno somebody in the world prolli needed to hear this. Stay positive block out the outside noise & grind. #Philly #stayTune
Although these players are millionaires, they’re human. As Wesley Morris said last month, “The money and fame are nice. But what money can’t buy is sound mental health.” Waiters clearly read the social media posts about him. Yes, fans have a right to criticize players if they’re not performing well — but it’s important not to be cruel.