The theme for this month’s ESPN+ Black History Always Special – Long Live Seven: The Bryce “Simba” Gowdy Story – focuses on mental health and the underreported topic of suicide among young, Black men. The short film will be available on Monday, November 29, exclusive to The Undefeated on ESPN+ digital platform.
- Long Live Seven: The Bryce “Simba” Story is part of ESPN’s Black History Always storytelling initiative launched in February 2021 to curate original content celebrating Black history beyond the traditional month of February.
- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who uses his platform to raise mental health awareness, will narrate the 30-minute documentary.
- The Undefeated on ESPN+ will serve as the exclusive home of Long Live Seven: The Bryce “Simba” Story available on Monday, November 29.
About Long Live Seven:
- Bryce “Simba” Gowdy, an elite student-athlete, signed a scholarship offer to play for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in 2019. His Deerfield Beach (Fla.) community rejoiced with his family for another South Florida native closer to fulfilling a dream to play in the National Football League. Within days of starting his collegiate journey, the 17-year-old stepped in front of an oncoming freight train and died.
- The film explores the circumstances that led Gowdy to suicide through the voice of his beloved mother Shibbon Mitchell, as she explains the survivor’s guilt that engulfed the high school athlete before his death. While the community celebrated him, the young Gowdy carried the hurt of “making it out” while his close-knit family lived in a car. Since her son’s death, Mitchell has turned her pain into a life purpose – advocating for behavioral and mental health awareness in the Black community.
What they’re saying:
- Raina Kelley, ESPN Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, The Undefeated: “Mental Health and mental illness are subjects that have historically been back-burnered in Black communities. Not so at The Undefeated. Shibbon Mitchell went through unimaginable pain, yet she found a way to turn that pain into action. Long Live Seven shines a light in the work she is doing to raise awareness and normalize conversations around mental health in our community. We appreciate Dak for his time and commitment to this project. His powerful and personal presence provides an impactful message on a difficult and emotional topic.”
- Narrator and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott: “The most important reason for me to be a part of this project is because Bryce has a legacy to continue to live on. His mom is doing a great job. With my platform, I just want to be able to help reach a kid out there that is going through what Bryce was experiencing, and to help save a life.”