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Charities of the Athletes

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Smiles plaster the faces of parents walking out of stores as they grabbed that final item on their children’s wish list, various holiday decorations brighten the skies and egg nog (possibly spiked) fill our mugs and stomachs. It’s the holiday cheer; an inescapable feeling that consumes so many during the month of December. Generosity graces the hearts of shoppers an…

Smiles plaster the faces of parents walking out of stores as they grabbed that final item on their children’s wish list, various holiday decorations brighten the skies and egg nog (possibly spiked) fill our mugs and stomachs.
It’s the holiday cheer; an inescapable feeling that consumes so many during the month of December. Generosity graces the hearts of shoppers and as a result, charities see a rise in donations during the final month of the year. More than 40 percent of donations come during December, according to slate.com.
‘Tis a wonderful time to open wallets and hearts and give to the less fortunate. The Grinch, however, is always lurking in the shadows. Sometimes the Grinch takes the form of famous athletes.
John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie wrote these lyrics 70 years ago, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.” He, referring to Santa Clause, is not coming to town, but if he were, Kris Kringle would check his naughty list more than twice in disbelief at the pro athletes on the list.
For decades professional athletes have established charities for all the right reasons; family members lost due to terminal illness, provide money to the less fortunate and countless other ordeals they faced growing up. A year or two later, however, we find out there was little upkeep with the charity and the money never provided a spark towards a cause.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in October faced off-the-field issues, not with his ethics regarding his children, but with his charity. The “All Day Foundation” stated that its mission is to support at-risk youth. Tax returns and numerous calls showed Peterson’s alleged donations to food banks in Texas and other organizations never made its way to the respective charities.
Former NBA power forward Lamar Odom also established a charity in his mother’s name in 2004, shortly after she died from a bout with cancer. The organization, Cathy’s Kids, raised more than $2 million during its existence, and not a single penny funded cancer research. Instead, it went to fund Amateur Athletic Union basketball teams. It’s somewhat encouraging to know his money provided assistance and funds for youth basketball. But was it right?
“No it’s wasn’t,” ESPN Outside the Lines reporter Paula LaVigne said. “(Odom) misled people. If he wanted to fund an AAU team, great. The charity was meant for cancer research and he was disingenuous about that.”
LaVigne reported in 2013 that 115 male and female charities fizzled or failed to donate money to certain organizations. A myriad of those athletes who discarded or misused their foundations failed to recognize the dedication required to run a charity mirrors their vigorous offseason regiments. Having the wherewithal financially won’t ru…
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