Report: Sixers continue fining Ben Simmons over latest issue
Late Monday night, the news came down that the Philadelphia 76ers are resuming their fines to Ben Simmons as the organization and the three-time All-Star remain in a stalemate over his status. The latest report by NBA Insider Shams Charania comes days after his exhaustive report about the stand-off between Simmons and the Sixers:
The current position by Ben Simmons and his agent Rich Paul is that he is not in a good place with his mental health and because of that he cannot be an active member of the Sixers organization. But the 76ers have been asking for information and evidence that substantiates those claims because the messaging from Simmons and his representation has changed multiple times over the last several months.
If we are to separate the sports element from this conversation, this is simply an employer asking their employee for documentation for their absence from participating in the job they hired the employee to do. The 76ers organization has already bent over backwards for Ben Simmons since the day he was drafted until this year and all they want is the pertinent information to show that Simmons is incapable of doing the tasks he is required to do as a member of the organization. Typically if a player is out with injury, they can still travel with the team and be a part of the support for the players on the court from the bench. Simmons is taking the stance that because he is still receiving treatment for his back and mental health, that this means he does not have to involve himself with the team's current road trip.
This latest escalation in the stand-off between the Sixers and Ben Simmons comes just a couple of weeks after the team fined Ben Simmons for his lack of transparency and communication about his mental health situation. Ben Simmons had refused to communicate directly and indirectly to any requests about his status as the 76ers organization is basically looking for a progress report as they hope he can return to the basketball court sooner than later.
Ben Simmons' lack of communication with the 76ers organization and the moving of the goalposts by his agent Rich Paul has been the real issue for months. Simmons and Paul talk about "Mental Health" but completely ignore the fact that people with Mental Health Issues want to get help and they avoid public discussion on the topic because a part of recovery is learning how to process their struggles better. Instead of Simmons coming out and saying "I am working through things and when I am in a better place, the next step is...." Ben is using the label of "Mental Health" as a conduit to continue to abdicate responsibility to be a professional under the terms of the employment contract he signed.
An example of a Professional Athlete who communicated with his bosses and teammates, got the help he needed, then returned to his job, and was completely honest about his situation is Eagles All-Pro Right Tackle Lane Johnson. Ben Simmons and Rich Paul should watch this interview below then take notes of what responsible professionals do when they have Mental Health Issues: