SHAWNEE, Kan. — The Kansas City Royals step up to the mound to help “Shut Out the Stigma.”

It involves the writing on the wall in the form of a new art installation. The piece is in Shawnee, but it will be moved to other locations across the metro.

The art installation is a letter written on a giant sheet of notebook paper. The letter is from a child and shows how the child feels while being criticized by an adult.

“My mom and dad kept saying, you did this wrong,” Max Prill, 12-year-old athlete, said. “I’m like, I know that I did those things wrong, and I could have done better, but I don’t need to hear it again.”

The 10-foot by 7-foot letter is part of a partnership between the Royals and Blue KC to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and show that words can hurt.

“We know that kids have struggled with mental health particularly in the pandemic. They have struggled academically and socially because of the pandemic so we’re looking at ways we can support kids more,” Kristin Gernon, Blue KC, said.

While an estimated 52% of youth between the ages of six and 17 play at least one sport, it isn’t just those kids who are burdened by the stigma.

“It’s not just for young athletes. It’s for anyone who’s performed. This applies to academic work. It applies to performances of other types. I think it’s really an important message. How do we support our kids in a way that really fosters their growth and their mental well-being?” Gernon said.

Parents and guardians often don’t even realize how their words impact children, according to experts.

“It’s important to educate the parents and knowing that helping sometimes can hurt and we feel like we have the tools necessary to really improve that dialogue with the parents and children,” Tony Snethen, Royals VP of Brand Innovation, said.

Additional information about how to Shut Out the Stigma is available online at

FOX4 also wants you to know that You Matter. Depression is a battle 1 in 4 people fight daily. Have an open dialogue about depression because silence helps no one. Information about where to get help for depression or suicidal thoughts is available at