It seems as though the professional sports world never stops receiving criticism.
There’s always something coming up that gives athletes a bad name.
Whether it is the use of steroids or the fact that athletes get paid unbelievable amounts of money, the sports realm is always taking hits.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not agree with steroid usage, and I do not believe an athlete should get paid more than those who help people for a living – like doctors, policemen or firemen.
However, there are a lot of great things to boast about in the sports domain instead of always focusing on the negatives. One of the best things about sports is the charity players give.
Nothing makes me more proud than seeing an athlete I adore help those who are less fortunate.
So instead of using this column to rag on athletes because they are overpaid, I’m going to praise the athletes who use their wealth to spread joy to others.
First up, Albert Pujols. As much as I complain about him being a traitor because I’m a die-hard Cardinals fan, you have to hand it to the man. He’s a great person.
He created the Pujols Family Foundation, which raises money and awareness for families with children living with Down syndrome.
This foundation is near and dear to my heart because my best friend’s brother has Down syndrome.
No one will ever know the challenges a family goes through when their child has this disease.
It’s a full-time job that can never be retired from.
Next is Jason Witten, tight end for the Dallas Cowboys and my favorite athlete of this era, who created a foundation called Jason Witten’s Score Foundation.
This foundation has done numerous things for different causes.
It has provided family abuse shelters with positive male mentors. It gives back to the Boys & Girls Club by promoting youth learning and wellness.
It has also provided an emergency waiting room in Niswonger Children’s Hospital of Johnson City, Tenn.
Other athletes help fight childhood cancer, a disease that breaks my heart to think about.
Whether you consider NASCAR a sport or not, Jeff Gordon is one athlete who gives back to those who are affected by this terrible disease.
The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation gives those with childhood cancer the ability to obtain a superb level of primary care and gives to medical research to find a cure.
There are many kind-hearted athletes who really care about others more than themsleves.
It’s comforting to know that there are athletes who use their talents to change the lives of others.
If every athlete used their privileges for the greater good, professional sports and athletes would not be downgraded as much, and the world would be a much better place.
Column by Taylor Crum, Assistant Sports Editor