LeBron James. JJ Watt. David Ortiz.
All three of these superstar athletes have many things in common. Sure, they are all incredibly gifted, household names and well-paid for these attributes.
They are also some of the most influential people for the youngest generation of kids across the world.
More and more kids are aspiring to be the next LeBron James or JJ Watt.
To quote a childhood favorite of mine,
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
-Uncle Ben, Spiderman
Often times, professional athletes are idolized like superheroes.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you are enough of a sports fan to have thought, ‘When I grow up, I want to be a professional athlete.’
Once kids figure out how much work goes into it, most give up the dream and pursue something more realistic. They continue to stay informed in the sports industry, watching their favorite teams or athletes, but deep down still wish they had their chance.
Nowadays, athletes are standing up, or kneeling, for what they believe in.
Colin Kaepernick did it last year and it nearly ruined his career. Now, LeBron and Kevin Durant are under heat from some media outlets following some comments about President Trump.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m a liberal, a democrat, and I’ve never had any interest in Fox News. That being said, what makes a news source, or a professional athlete able to say anything they want (within a certain reason) without punishment?
The First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Sure, they are both rich, well-off professional athletes. But they are also both black men who grew up underprivileged.
When Fox News aired this segment, LeBron and KD got more heat, LeBron responded.
More on this can be found by clicking HERE.
KD and LeBron are both leaders in the NBA, no question about it. But they’ve also solidified their position as role-models, inspiration and activists against social injustice.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke out about the issue, and commended the stars on their professional response.
Fox News has, unsurprisingly, attempted to defend their comments by saying they had nothing to do with race. But like too much in the US, racial tension is present in every aspect of our lives.
Surrounding this whole issue was the NBA All-Star weekend, held in LA where all the best basketball players from around the world come together for a weekend of fun, basketball and the common good.
Each All-Star team captain (LeBron James and Stephen Curry) chose a charitable organization to donate a hefty amount to, based on the outcome of the game.
Unlike the NFL Pro Bowl, where players get more money in their pockets, the All-Star game game a combined $500,000 to two selected charities. Giving back to the youth and the community is important to the league, and most players go above and beyond to make an impact.
That’s something JJ Watt and David Ortiz have already gotten behind.
JJ Watt organized the donation of more than $37 million to disaster relief following Hurricane Harvey, earning himself the Walter Payton Man of the Year in the NFL.
During his MLB career, David Ortiz was associated with six different charitable organizations, because he wanted to give back to the community that made him who he is.
If the comments/response following the Fox News segment about professional athletes has taught me anything, it’s that the sports community will stand together against injustice.