Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons opted out of the final week of the 2020 season for the Los Angeles Angels amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, he didn't opt out due to physical health concerns.
On Tuesday, Simmons told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register that he decided to opt out because of depression and suicidal thoughts that he's experienced since he was a child.
"It was tough for me mentally to where the thought of suicide crossed my mind. It was something I vowed a long time ago I would never consider again. I was fortunate to talk to a therapist, which helped me let go of those thoughts. At the end when a lot of people were still going through what most would think of as tough times, the idea of finishing the season in a bubble was too much for me to handle."
The 31-year-old signed a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Twins for the 2021 season. He said he wanted to discuss his situation to help others who may also be struggling.
Simmons, a four-time Gold Glover, had spent his entire career with the Atlanta Braves and Angels before signing with the Twins. He owns a career .269/.317/.379 slash line.
While Simmons is just beginning to talk about his mental health struggles, other athletes have been open about their past battles, including the NBA's Kevin Love and the NFL's Dak Prescott.