The Spokesman-Review

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Pro athletes could take lead

A few weeks ago I watched President Obama recognize a banker in Florida who divvied up $60 million to his loyal employees. The generous executive noted that he had “more than enough money,” and so many loyal employees were in need. We read daily of good people’s lives thrown into disarray in this faltering economy. People who are forced to seek outside help in order to survive.

It brings to mind the situation of A-Rod, Major League Baseball, and professional sports as a whole. What if a few super-wealthy athletes were to make a similar pronouncement and proceed to play an entire season for a named favorite charity? Would their lifestyle or the future of their family be jeopardized? In these hard times, as very worthy charitable organizations struggle to continue their missions, imagine what an impact $50 million or more would have.

Many professional athletes are extremely generous on an ongoing basis. But in the face of the doping scandals, over-the-top salaries and other problems with the image of professional sports, it would be a wonderful public gesture, and a huge step toward improving that image. Maybe others would then dig deeper to help our neighbors in need.

Steve Lamanna

Spokane



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