Opinion: Professional athletes do help each other

Dillan Schorfheide, Sports Editor

It seems, sometimes, that sports figures catch a lot of slack because of their annual earnings.

People direct the comments toward the athletes themselves, saying professional athletes should not be making (in some cases) upward of $30 million a year.

Those professional teams are sometimes part of the target of these comments.

To clarify, the argument tries to say they are getting paid ludicrous amounts and are ungrateful or are not generous with their earnings, which is flat-out not true.

Some athletes certainly are greedy with their earnings, or simply lose all their money and go bankrupt.

But generalizing these attributes to all professional athletes is ignorant and ignores the good that some athletes do for communities.

Last year, National Basketball Association star LeBron James opened a school in Akron, Ohio, to help at-risk children get a chance for good education.

USA Today reported last year that James and his charity, The LeBron James Family Foundation, partnered with Akron Public Schools to open the I Promise school.

The Dayton Daily News also reported last year that the school offered free tuition, free uniforms, free transportation within two miles and free breakfast, lunch and snacks to students, among other things.

James, when unveiling the school, said some of the things the school offers for free are things he struggled with when he was in school as a kid.

Donating money to a cause or charity is one thing, but helping to open a school is an entirely different thing.

James’ actions dispel this myth that all professional athletes are greedy and do not give back, and fellow NBA star Steph Curry did something very kind Monday to help bolster the denial of this myth.

Curry announced he is sponsoring the creation of men’s and women’s golf teams at Howard University, the historically black university in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Curry’s sponsorship is bringing golf teams to the university for the first time in decades.

Curry’s team did not reveal an exact amount for how much Curry would donate. They did say it will be a seven-figure donation over the next six years.

For those wondering, Curry, besides being known as a professional basketball player, is known for his love of golf, hence why he is making the donation.

But these two examples are just a small fraction of the good other athletes have done, but they do show that professional athletes, and even teams, are not mindless, heartless machines just here to earn a profit.

They are real people, who do care.

Dillan Schorfheide is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]