“It’s been escalating, like, the longer this goes, the worse it’s been getting. It got to a point where I was scared the other day…"
The Pensacola surfer and comic Sterling Spencer who says he “completely lost” his mind after being hit by a surfboard fin eighteen months ago, the injury worsened when a drunk driver hit his stationary car, has posted a troubling Instagram story to his sixty-two thousand followers after an incident with his girlfriend.
Spencer, who is thirty-five and the son of Gulf Coast legend Yancy Spencer III, hit worldwide fame in 2010 when he posted a dubbed video of a kid trying to get Jeremy Flores’ autograph at J-Bay, with Flores strangling Spencer at the Surfer Poll awards the same year in revenge.
This video, a day or so old, is a piece to camera where Sterling recounts a “physical” incident with his girlfriend, also posted to Instagram, now gone.
“Sorry y’all had to see that the other day. I’ve been injured for over a year now and Amanda has been taking care of me every stop of the way and she’s so selfless and so giving. She gives and gives and gives and all of a sudden there’s nothing left for her and she just snaps…
“It’s been escalating, like, the longer this goes, the worse it’s been getting. It got to a point where I was scared the other day and I hate to show that or make her look like a bad person because she’s absolutely not, we’re at our breaking point.
“I feel so helpless at times with my injury, so weak. I just reacted and didn’t know what else to do…
“I hate if this makes her look bad, she’s an amazing person, pleases don’t send negative messages to her, she needs a lot of love, she’s just given so much. She’s tired, man, and I’m tired and just trying to get through this.
“We’re both going to get help and change.
“One more thing. Amanda, she did not hit me. I believe I wrote she swung at me. She was trying to get my phone away from me and it was a little physical but she did not hit me.
“Amanda, I’m so grateful for everything you’ve done for me, day in day out. I appreciate this for the rest of my life. No one’s ever been there for me like this and, I love you and looking forward to better times.”
Mental illness, as we all know, or should know by now, ain’t a joke.
When Sterling posted about the incidence of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) among surfers, ie, repeated blows to the head, wipeouts, airs etc, causing a progressive and ultimately fatal brain disease, big names piled on.
Albee Layer: Thank you sterling. It’s not to say you can’t go hard but that risk is there and pretending it’s not doesn’t help anyone.
Nathan Florence: 100% it is more common than most know! great share bro
Owen Wright, whose own brain injury nearly ended his career: The sad thing is no one is motivated to protect their heads until they have a major accident. After my Tbi the WSL reshaped the way they assess their injured athletes and a lot of the surfers still don’t really follow the protocol and find it hard to give their brain the attention it needs. The long term affects of this is something no one wants to really look at and knows where to go to solve it which leaves our sporting greats and any surfer really, dealing with mental health issues. Good news is it’s been brought to light with WSL and it’s doctors and they are actively still moving in the right direction with long term brain care at the top level. For the everyday punter they need to start realise that wearing a helmet is a simple but effective way that you can protect your head. Wishing you and your family all the best through this journey.
Wishing our brother good health and good luck navigating his way outta this.