Four years ago, DeMar DeRozan cast a light on his struggle with depression and, in turn, lit a path for other athletes fighting similar battles to follow.
His advocacy for mental health has led him to partner with Podium Pictures and award-winning filmmaker Brett Rapkin for an upcoming project called “Dinners With DeMar.” In it, the five-time All-Star will break bread with other athletes and influencers while continuing the conversation he started as a member of the Toronto Raptors.
DeRozan is one of three sports stars—Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Bode Miller are the others—teaming with the Emmy Award-winning media company to create a series of documentary projects “focused on breaking the stigma of mental health through the power of athletes and storytelling.”
DeRozan’s digital series, as well as both Earnhardt Jr. and Miller’s documentaries, are in early pre-production. Once completed, however, they will be available on a free platform as a mental health resource.
The six-part mental health series builds upon the 2020 HBO release “The Weight of Gold,” which Rapkin directed and was produced in partnership with Olympic legend Michael Phelps.
The National Basketball Players Association initiated its mental health and wellness program a few months after the now 32-year-old DeRozan revealed his struggle with depression. The NBA also expanded its own effort to provide resources to players, coaches and other staff shortly thereafter.
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