Living with diabetes, you’ll have good days and bad days. During the bad days, it’s important to always remember that you can show diabetes who’s boss.
At Pops, we believe that people with diabetes can do anything they put their minds to. These athletes have all dealt with the hardships that accompany diabetes but refused to let it define them.
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Football Players With Diabetes
Eight-time Pro-Bowler Patrick Petersen has had an impressive career as an NFL cornerback, playing for the Arizona Cardinals during his 9 years in the league. Petersen also has Type 2 diabetes.
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 9 years old, Mark Andrews hasn’t let that stop him from becoming a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end for the Baltimore Ravens.
Now retired quarterback Jay Cutler has Type 1 diabetes. His experience with the disease led him to work with Dedicated to Diabetes, a Denver-based organization that aims to improve public knowledge about diabetes.
Baseball Players With Diabetes
Ron Santo is one of the Chicago Cubs’ greatest players of all-time, despite dealing with diabetes since he was a teenager. During his time as a Cub, Santo was a 9x All-Star and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.
Arguably the most well-known—and important—baseball players of all-time. Near the end of his time as a major leaguer, Robinson was diagnosed with diabetes. Robinson would retire around this time, but not before he broke the color-barrier in addition to winning an NL MVP in 1949.
Basketball Players With Diabetes
Baylor standout and 2020 first-round draft pick Lauren Cox was diagnosed with diabetes at a young age. Her sister, a D2 basketball player for Lubbock Christian, also has diabetes. The United States Basketball Writers Association announced that both sisters would receive the Pat Summitt Most Courageous Award for their basketball and community involvement in the face of their condition.
Now retired, Gonzaga-great and first-round draft pick Adam Morrison was diagnosed with diabetes at age 13. However, he took the news well, reportedly telling a nurse who was administering insulin, “Since I’m going to be doing this the rest of my life, you might as well show me how to do it.”
Soccer Players With Diabetes
Denmark National Team member Nanna Christiansen has diabetes but has not let that stop her from becoming one of the best footballers in Denmark.
American footballer Jordan Morris was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age nine. Morris says having diabetes has helped shape him. His tattoo “T1D” on his inner arm is a tribute to the armband people with diabetes have to wear.
Golfers with Diabetes
Successful golfer Scott Verplank has Type 1 diabetes and uses an insulin pump during rounds. Ranked as high as 11 on the PGA Tour, he has 6 professional wins on the tour and has finished in the top 10 in each of the major championships.
Hockey Players With Diabetes
Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke was a hard-nosed player back in the day. In one of his defining career moments, Clarke was struck in the face by a puck, only to return later to the game with stitches and blood on his jersey. He would eventually score his 1,000 career point in the game. At just 13, Clarke was diagnosed with diabetes.
The second overall pick by the New York Rangers in 2019, Kakko may soon be a household name for hockey fans everywhere. Managing his diabetes and these high expectations may be tough at times, but he hasn’t let that get in his way yet.
Tennis Players With Diabetes
A fantastic tennis player and even a better person, Arthur Ashe was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at a young age. Not letting that get in his way, Ashe would go on to win 3 Grand Slam titles during his tenure as a tennis pro.
Billy Jean King
Another giant of the tennis world, Billy Jean King actually was a recipient in 1999 of the Arthur Ashe Award handed out by ESPN. The award, which is given to “recipients (that) reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost.” She was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. But, you can be certain she’ll show it who’s boss.