We often hear about all the bad things that athletes tend to do off the field or court, but what about the good things that athletes do? Here are 15 athletes that use their celebrity status for good and are very generous with their time and money.
While the name Armando Galarraga may not sound familiar, it’s too bad his level of sportsmanship isn’t all over the news. This season an umpire made a call that ended up costing Galarraga a chance at a perfect game. When the umpire who made the call tearfully admitted his mistake, Galarraga didn’t throw a fit or even yell at the umpire. Nope! He went up to the umpire and hugged him. It’s nice to see that he understands that mistakes do happen.
Who doesn’t love David Beckham? Even with all of his fame and fortune, he is very humble. He is very giving when it comes to children and even supports many charities that do the same. In 2013, he gave £3.3million of his football wages to a children’s charity. He said it was his wife’s idea, but still!
Even with all of the bad publicity that the NFL has recently received, there are still good role models within its organization. Derrick Coleman plays for the Seattle Seahawks. He stared in a Duracell commercial showcasing the fact that he is deaf and that did not stop him from achieving his dreams! He was able to achieve even more when his team won the Super Bowl in February 2014.
Eli Manning currently plays for the New York Giants. He is continuously raising money for children’s clinics in hospitals and has stated that giving back to the community is invigorating.
Recently LaMarr Woodley, who now plays for the Oakland Raiders, heard about a Michigan School District that was going to implement a $75.00/year fee for kids who wanted to play sports. This was the same school district that he lived in when growing up, and he graduated from Saginaw High School in 2003. He contacted the school district to see what the amount was that would be collected after collecting the fees. He decided to donate $60,000 to cover these fees so kids would not have to pay to play.
Anytime LeBron James does anything, it seems to be newsworthy. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like his good deeds get as much attention as does where is he going to be playing next year. A teenager girl named Ebony who lived outside Milwaukee wanted to meet LeBron James after she was diagnosed with cancer. There was a Twitter hashtag called “#LeBronMeetEbony” that caught on, and low and behold, LeBron took time out of his busy schedule to meet Ebony and her family.
Abby Wambach of the US Women’s National Soccer Team has a lot of involvement with both the Juvenile Diabetes Association and the Epilepsy Foundation. She has been touched personally by both of these ailments. Her brother, Peter, has epilepsy and her brother, Andrew, and her nephew, Ben Ritter, both have Type 1 Diabetes.
We hear about the extravagant things that athletes purchase with their large paychecks, but has anyone ever thought of buying a firetruck for their hometown? That is exactly what Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers did. He purchased a firetruck for his hometown San Francisco de Macoris located in the Dominican Republic. They don’t have firetrucks or ambulances in his hometown, so this was a huge gift for them! His donation caught the eye of Texas first-responder service American Medical Response who also donated 2 ambulances to go along with the firetruck.
Pat Tillman was a professional football player. After the 9/11 attacks, he turned down a $9 million contract with the St. Louis Rams and decided to join the Army with one of his brothers. He was killed in the line of duty due to friendly fire, which was covered up for many years. Pat Tillman is an American Hero, leaving everything behind and putting it all on the line for his country.
Mia Hamm is a retired professional soccer player who played on the US Women’s National Soccer Team. She started the Mia Hamm Foundation in honor of her brother who passed away from bone marrow disease.
Payton Manning is also another Manning brother who does a lot for his community. He started the Peyback Foundation that helps disadvantaged children.
New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas is known for spoiling kids in the New Orleans area, but this past Christmas he went shopping and filled five separate shopping baskets to the top and then some, and donated them to Toys For Tots.
Steve Nash has played for the Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers. He is a very humble player, but not only that he has started his own charity that aids children in need.
Robbie Rogers who currently plays for the LA Galaxy, recently because the first active player to come out as gay. This has made him a huge role model for the LGBT community and youth.
Cristiano Ronaldo can come across as arrogant on the soccer pitch, but what he does off the pitch will have you falling in love. Recently a family approached Rinaldo about donating to their son’s cause. Their child was getting brain surgery and they were trying to raise some money to help with the surgery. They asked if he could donate a pair of cleats for a raffle. Not only did Ronaldo donate the cleats, he paid for the entire brain surgery which ended up costing $83,000!!! How could you not love him!
While the world is focusing on all the bad things that athletes get themselves into, there are still good role models out there for children when it comes to professional athletes.
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