Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #76

Sept. 8 – Sept. 14, 2013

Welcome to week seventy-six of the Sports Doing Good newsletter.

Each week, when putting together the Sports Doing Good newsletter, we do come across the relatively common negative story. But since we are focused on the good in sports, we go ahead and skip the bad (knowing full well that another entity will cover it). An example of the not-so-good? Bullying.

Bullying is not a new phenomenon. It has, unfortunately, plagued society for years, inflicting physical and emotional pain on so many. We know this and recognize there must be more done to combat this problem. That is something we surely cover at Sports Doing Good.

So this week we start off and finish with stories that involve an individual and group’s response to bullying. First, photographer Jordan Matter, who was bullied for years when he was a kid, channeled his anger and fear to become a celebrated college athlete and then an award-winning photographer. His latest effort, Athletes Among Us, features professional athletes off the field, going about their daily lives with the same dedication and drive as they have to their sport. These breathtaking shots offer us a different way of appreciating athletes and their efforts. And we finish with a story involving the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) and its Bullying Prevention Training. The program was developed to give parents and coaches the information they need to help prevent bullying in youth sports, as well as how to navigate bullying situations that do emerge. In between, there are 18 stories that again highlight the good that is the more common part of sports.

Those stories include: an interview with the PitCCh In Foundation; former NFL player Nate Jackson and his new book; Bradley University “drafting” the Sahrs brothers; Disney/ESPN/Special Olympics announcing a powerful new partnership; Matt Sebek and his nod to the pastime of card collecting; Major League Baseball players’ perspectives on being a dad; Girl Scouts emphasizing the benefits of physical activity; the Binghamton Mets and Disability Dream & Do Baseball Camp; and an opinion piece from streetfootballworld calling attention to the true conscience of the world’s most popular game; amongst others.

Please continue to send along your stories. You are both our audience and our best source of stories. Our Twitter handle is @sportsdoinggood, and you can find us at

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Just playing at life: Famous athletes pictured going about their daily chores in their own extraordinary style (slideshow)
Artist statement: Baseball had a lasting impact on my life, but Athletes Among Us ( is not a book about sports. The athletes are a physical representation of dedication, but their drive can be applied to any field. These photographs illustrate that even when athletes are not competing, they are living and breathing their passion. They playfully remind all of us to pursue our objectives tenaciously; to never give up and to keep striving for excellence, no matter what path we’ve chosen.

Battle of the Superheroes

Carnegie Exclusive Interview: Amber Sabathia, PitCCh In Foundation
Sometimes it only takes a few people in your community to make a significant impact. CC and I had several mentors growing up who kept us motivated and focused. We want to serve as role models to these young people, which is why we give back.

A Modern Warrior (and a Meat Sack); ‘Slow Getting Up,’ Nate Jackson’s N.F.L. Memoir
Here now is a book by Nate Jackson called “Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival From the Bottom of the Pile,” and it’s everything you want football memoirs to be but never are: hilarious, dirty, warm, human, honest, weird.

Sonny Figueroa/The New York Times

Bradley University signs 5- and 9-year-old brothers for a good cause (video)
Brothers Johnah (age 5) and Jarret Sahrs (9) signed letters of intent with the Braves, who are helping support the Sahrs family as Johnah continues his recovery from Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma. There’s a nice video of the signing, where the brothers agree to be good teammates, follow rules, listen to their parents, and cheer loudly for the Braves.

The Walt Disney Company and ESPN Team Up with Special Olympics for Global Initiative to Promote Social Inclusion and Acceptance through Sports
With a multi-million dollar financial and in-kind investment, Disney and ESPN will support Special Olympics’ goal of registering one million Unified Sports participants, including athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities), teammates (individuals without intellectual disabilities) and coaches, by 2015.

Christian Summers and Wayne Charlie Hoffman, center, celebrate Special Olympics Team USA’s walk-off gold medal win in softball at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Vanessa Parra, left, looks on. (Courtesy of Special Olympics)

St. Louis entrepreneur brings back ‘baseball cards,’ with a twist
But Sebek, a sports and technology nut who runs the humor site, knows there’s a whole generation of adults like him in their 20s, 30s, and 40s for whom baseball cards bring back nostalgic memories. They spent their childhood carefully cataloging and trading the cards and storing them in shoe boxes under the bed or in binders with plastic holders. So he, along with a small team of developers, have created an iPhone app — available today — called Rookies.

Matt Sebek shows off his new app on his phone on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. The Rookies app can be used to create personalized baseball-style cards. Photo by J.B. Forbes.

MLB Players and Dove Men+Care team up to talk about what it means to be a Big League Dad
Some notable players like Ben Zobrist (Tampa Bay Rays), Torii Hunter (Detroit Tigers), and Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox) are working with Dove Men+Care for their Big League Dad campaign. Go to to check out videos from these guys sharing their thoughts on fatherhood. If you are on Twitter use the hashtag #BigLeagueDads to follow along this 10-week behind-the-scenes, custom video series made specifically for

Girl Scouts of the USA and Nestlé USA Team Up to Relaunch Girl Scouts’ GirlSports Initiative
Since 1912, Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts, believed that health, nutrition, and fitness were essential to the Girl Scout experience. Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, and were encouraged to prepare healthy meals. We recognize now more than ever that we need to engage girls through sports and healthy living. We know that girls who play sports earn better grades, develop more confidence, and get more involved in their communities.

Binghamton Mets and Disability Dream & Do Baseball Camp a Huge Success
The Dave Clark Foundation has partnered with the minor league clubs to not only bring attention to the lives and the abilities of these campers, but to also give the professional athletes an opportunity to experience what many do not have a chance to see. When a player walks away from one of these events, he not only looks at life differently but he is able to appreciate all that it gives him.

Soccer With a Conscience – A Word from streetfootballworld
Soccer has proven to be a valuable tool in stimulating social change and strengthening communities, but this aspect of the game continues to be largely ignored by the industry. International soccer is becoming increasingly disconnected from the reasons for its success: its values, such as fair play, respect and teamwork, and its fan base. When soccer fails to honor these, it begins to isolate itself from society and the game loses its appeal.


Ari’s Bar Mitzvah Project: 3 On 3 Tournament Benefiting Netanya Hoops For Kids
August 25th, 2013 Ari Singer and his family ran a 3 on 3 basketball tournament for over 60 kids from Detroit at the JCC of Metropolitan Detroit in West Bloomfield. Ari and his brother Gabe had visited and volunteered with the Netanya Hoops For Kids program in December 2012 during his family’s visit to Israel.

It’s Time for the Doctors to Weigh in on Hockey Fighting
In order to make some progress on this issue, maybe it’s time to move beyond discussions about whether or not fighting is good for the game. Let’s take the human egos out of this debate — on both sides — and listen to the medical professionals who represent the silent human brains inside the heads of the players skating around on the ice.

Straight Finish WRAO Youth League finishes another great season!
This year, the Straight Finish “We Run As One” Youth Basketball League exceeded all expectations, hosting 12 teams with over 150 kids and volunteers in Chinatown & the Lower East Side. Congratulations to both our West and East Champions!

NASCAR Green Recognizes Seven International Speedway Corporation Motorsports Facilities For Their Positive Environmental Sustainability Contributions
International Speedway Corporation (“ISC”), the leading promoter of major motorsports entertainment, had seven of its motorsports facilities honored during the 2013 NASCAR Green Summit with the NASCAR Green track operator award.  The award recognizes those motorsports facilities for their ongoing contributions to developing effective and sustainable green policies and practices.

Women’s Tour de France campaigners publish manifesto
Le Tour Entier’s document calls for a women’s event, last held in 2009, to be run alongside the men’s race from 2014. More than 93,000 have signed a petition by the group, led by cyclist and writer Kathryn Bertine, World Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington, and cyclists Marianne Vos and Emma Pooley.

NFL, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Courtyard by Marriott Partner for Third Annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards
“We are excited to partner with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Courtyard by Marriott to recognize individuals across all 32 team markets that make a difference in their local Hispanic community,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL Vice President of Fan Strategy and Marketing.  “We applaud all the recipients for their hard work and the impact they make on the lives of others.”

More than just football: Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White
Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Roddy White have built Hall of Fame-caliber careers, played in Super Bowls and earned millions of dollars on the field. But these NFL players believe they were put in this position of privilege for a reason,…
Video –

Seth Wescott, Olympic Snowboarder, Denounces Russia’s Anti-Gay Law
“They’re wonderful human beings, and I think for them to be discriminated against is a crime,” he said. “They should be able to be who they are and compete proudly. They represent our country incredibly well and they don’t need to be the object of that kind of criticism and negativity.”

Seth Wescott(R) of the US, after winning the Men’s Snowboard SBX final at Cypress Mountain during the Vancouver Winter Olympics, north of Vancouver on February 15, 2010. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Female ski jumpers share unique bond
Their bond is largely unspoken and practically as old as they are, and the best female ski jumpers in this country are still too immersed in competition to be sentimental about it. What they share germinated organically in the ’90s in this winter sports oasis in the mountains above Salt Lake City. It probably couldn’t have happened anywhere else.

Aapo Laiho/Getty Images

NAYS launches new bullying prevention training for parents, coaches
Bullying has no place in a youth sports environment. The National Alliance for Youth Sports has developed Bullying Prevention Training to give parents and coaches the information they need to help prevent bullying in youth sports, as well as how to navigate bullying situations that do emerge.,-coaches?utm_source=September+2013+-+NAYS+update&utm_campaign=Sept+2013+Newsletter&utm_medium=email

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Our goal is to have Sports Doing Good be a portal housing original content and excerpts from and links to the increasing number of articles, websites, video, and other media that showcase the good in sports and society. We aim to celebrate those concepts, activities, events, and individuals by highlighting them for a wider audience. Much of the news today, whether sports- related or not, is incredibly negative and increasingly polarizing, biased, and quite annoying. We are trying to refocus some of the discussion on the good, with a focus on sports.Our mission is to have Sport Doing Good be a consistent, and significant, contributor to the areas of sports, social responsibility and development. We look forwarding to partnering with other stakeholders in producing content, in creating and/or sponsoring athletic and service events, knowledge sharing, and conferences/seminars, and even having a commercial arm that could be the source of innovative social businesses.

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Contact Information~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sarbjit “Sab” Singh