Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"champions" of a cause

i stand corrected... sort of.

professional athletes have been the source of many a (heated) discussion for me. i just can't accept the fact that these sports "stars" make such exorbitant amounts of money but don't give back to their communities to the extent that they are able.

for example, i have always thought, "how cool would it be if the superbowl champions chose *not* to get superbowl rings and *instead* donated that money to charity? how big of an impact would that make?"

then, i find out that the colts did something with a few of their rings - they held a raffle for five superbowl rings in hopes of raising $1 million. not nearly the impact they could have made if they donated *all* their rings (apparently, the nfl fronts $5000 per ring for up to 150 rings, and the teams make up the rest. recent superbowl rings have been appraised for about $20,000, which means 150 of them amount to $3 million.) but it was something nonetheless.

furthermore, the red sox and patriots aim to do quite a bit in the boston area (in fact, we're raffling off a baseball signed by youkilis at our next concert event on april 10th), and i read that the celtics and bruins are looking to increase their giving as well. but when i think about what these individual players could be doing, especially when they get signed to multi-million dollar contracts, i feel the heat rise up within me.

according to fox sports, the patriots make $122,890,313 as a team. if they gave just 10% of that (i mean, i can't ask for more than god himself asks for, right?), imagine how many families impacted by AIDS might find hope or how many families would have clean water or how many cancer patients could find a cure... i imagine it sometimes and then force myself think about all the good (no matter how disproportionate) the players and teams do in order to remain positive.

but here we are, all these non-profits, thinking about and searching for ways to get people involved and committed to a cause. we strategize to get joe-schmoes to volunteer, donate, and remain connected to their communities. and while these "average" members of society try to better the world in which we all live, these so-called superstars dump a few pennies into the proverbial bucket without a second thought and call it an act of charity.

now i don't mean to forget or ignore the individuals and teams who might be doing more (and if you know of any, please comment because i certainly would be encouraged by any and all such stories), but how often have you heard of a player say, "i only need $50,000 to live comfortably. i'll give the rest of my salary for this one year to autism research."?

random post, i guess. but something i've been chewing on for quite some time, especially in this time of recession fears and so many families becoming homeless. and although i will admit that professional athletes and teams are doing *something,* i won't concede that it's enough. and please, don't even get me started on hollywood...

1 comment:

Casey said...

Point well taken, Hannah. I agree that everyone could always go more, and it's especially easy to point fingers at those of us who have so much - such as sports figures.

However. Many of them do contribute. Several sports celebrities have their own charities, or contribute to charities. I agree it's not enough... but at least they're starting. The Boston Bruins actually do a lot more than I expected.