Sept. 7 – Sept. 13, 2014
Welcome to week one hundred twenty-eight of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s 10 stories include:
- Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall Tackles Stigma of Mental Illness in the NFL
- NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals use Still jerseys for charity
- Jays Care Foundation, Harlem RBI and Tiger Woods Foundation Win 2014 RWJF Steve Patterson Award
- Parkour May Run, Flip, Dive And Slide Its Way Into Olympics
- Runners Take the Place of Models During Fashion Week
- Q&A: How Go Pro Workouts is building the future of personal training
- Santander And New England Revolution Encourage Parents To Share Their Child’s Academic Achievements For Chance To Play With The Pros
- All Hail Kale: Fueled by Smart Diet, Iron Man Pence Leads Giants Down Stretch
- Hall of Fame outlines new mission, new vision
- Yao Ming Vows To Save Elephants By Ending China’s Ivory Trade
This was a very tough week for sports news. Discussion of domestic abuse, child abuse, dementia, drug use, and culpable homicide was all over the ever increasing number of media platforms. While we are not shocked such stories exist, the sheer quantity did challenge our faith a little bit. And I say a little bit because we thankfully again put together a group of countervailing stories that were exemplary for their variety and messaging.
There is the story of NFL player Brandon Marshall bringing forth the subject of mental illness; the Cincinnati Bengals, also of the NFL, and its players and fans supporting a player dealing with the cancer condition of his 4-year old daughter; the wonderful organizations honored with the Steve Patterson Award; the burgeoning brilliance of the world of parkour; the newfound prominence of female athletes on the fashion runways of New York; Go Pro workouts; “soccer scholars” supported by Santander and the MLS’s New England Revolution; the possibly trend-setting eating regimen being undertaken by MLB star Hunter Pence; the bright future of the NFL Hall of Fame; and the great work continuing to be done by former NBA All-Star Yao Ming.
We are not blind to the types of troubling stories mentioned at the onset of this introduction. Those stories exist and we believe they need to be told, by others. However, they should not be told repeatedly just to create shock value. These are legitimate problems and smart discussions need to be had and action needs to be undertaken to improve in all of those areas. One thing that can encourage those efforts is the prevalence of the good in sports, good that we are happy to present each and every week.
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So enjoy. And have a good week.
Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall Tackles Stigma of Mental Illness in the NFL
In our culture, being masculine often means not being vulnerable; this is especially true in the NFL, where it seems players must act like stone-faced warriors to survive unscathed. But Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has weaknesses, and he isn’t afraid to talk about them. In this video from GQ, Marshall opens up about his struggle with mental illness in hopes of galvanizing the conversation around mental health in the NFL so that players don’t have to live in fear of being tormented by teammates. “We have to break the stigma,” Marshall says in the video. “And it starts with creating the conversation.”
NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals use Still jerseys for charity
“We think Devon is ready to rejoin our line rotation and be productive. It already was stated that a big reason Devon opened on the practice squad was that he couldn’t fully focus on football this preseason. He had to take care of his daughter. But Devon has told us he feels ready to contribute now, so it’s the right move at the right time. And we’ve told Devon he can still be afforded the personal time he needs to attend to his daughter’s care.” In keeping Still, the Bengals helped ensure he’d have the league’s health insurance to pay for Leah’s treatments. Still said those medical costs could reach $1 million.
Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc.
Jays Care Foundation, Harlem RBI and Tiger Woods Foundation Win 2014 RWJF Steve Patterson Award
This is the 10th anniversary of the Patterson Award, which was established in 2005 by the RWJF in honor of the late Steve Patterson, the former UCLA basketball star, NBA player and Arizona State basketball coach. Patterson’s belief in the practice of using the power of sports philanthropy to make a difference in various communities inspired the creation of this award. “We are honored to celebrate three outstanding organizations—Jays Care, the Tiger Woods Foundation and Harlem RBI. Each is giving back to their communities and inspiring others to build a Culture of Health,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Parkour May Run, Flip, Dive And Slide Its Way Into Olympics
But Edwardes says there’s room in parkour for two worlds — competitive and non-competitive — just like in any other sport. “There are tens of millions of people who run, who don’t do it competitively. So running as discipline isn’t necessarily competitive, but it does have a competitive element to it,” Edwardes explains. If parkour does move into competition, it might follow the lead of snowboarding.
A Libyan youth displays his skills in parkour, an extreme sport, during a friendly competition in Tripoli on March 7, 2014. Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images
Runners Take the Place of Models During Fashion Week
Oiselle’s show last year featured a mix of professional models and runners who had been coached on navigating the runway by the model Christy Turlington Burns, an avid runner. “But this year we decided to go with only our runners,” said Sally Bergesen, who founded Oiselle in 2007. “There’s something about them; they’re just different.” Her company recently signed both Goucher and Fleshman. They are both working mothers, educated and in their mid-30s, and they are using those qualities to attract enthusiastic followings, particularly women and recreational runners. As they move into the twilight of their athletic careers, Fleshman and Goucher are trying to redefine what it means to be a professional female athlete.
Katie Dalzell, right, a designer for the sports apparel line Oiselle, with the runner Sarah Lesko during New York’s Fashion Week. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times
Q&A: How Go Pro Workouts is building the future of personal training
Having all been former high school and collegiate athletes, our team saw a void in the market place. There wasn’t really a company out there that was bringing elite, sports-specific training programs to the digital and mobile arena. There are all these companies out there in the sports and fitness space, and they say, ‘Wear our sneakers, use our sports drink, and you’ll run faster and jump higher.’ And that’s not true. What makes an athlete better is, first, commitment to your sport and to your training; and second, access to the right information. And that’s how Go Pro Workouts was founded.
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller
Santander And New England Revolution Encourage Parents To Share Their Child’s Academic Achievements For Chance To Play With The Pros
Santander is the Official Bank of the New England Revolution. “We’re always focused on creating new ways to engage with our fans, and are especially excited to do so in a way that emphasizes the importance of education,” said New England Revolution president Brian Bilello. “We are pleased to work with our partner Santander to reward the students’ significant academic achievements with the once in a lifetime opportunity to play soccer with some of their favorite players.”
All Hail Kale: Fueled by Smart Diet, Iron Man Pence Leads Giants Down Stretch
There Hunter Pence was in June, cutting a vine ribbon to open the Giants’ brand spanking new…vegetable garden? Corny (or corn-fed) as that might sound, San Francisco this summer became the first major league team to plant a vegetable garden (it’s on the other side of the center field fence at AT&T Park). No man was more fitting to usher in this new baseball development than Pence, the Giants’ wild-eyed, crazy-legged, ultra-energetic and uber-talented outfielder.
Eric Risberg/Associated Press
Hall of Fame outlines new mission, new vision
More than the mission statement is Baker’s vision statement that was formed with the input of many. He has changed some of the titles of his senior leadership team, but he says he has tried to make every member of the Hall’s team feel important and be heard. The new vision statement hints at a grander picture, too. “It’s not just the past, it’s the future; it’s not just about Canton, it’s the world; it’s not just a museum for football, it’s a message of excellence EVERYWHERE.”
Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO David Baker (right) and Dr. Jim King, grandson of professional football founder Ralph Hay, stand below a newly unveiled sculpture last month in downtown Canton commemorating the founding of professional football. Repository/Ray Stewart
Yao Ming Vows To Save Elephants By Ending China’s Ivory Trade
Ming originally partnered with WildAid in 2006 for a different animal-rights crisis. He campaigned with the group in China against the killing of an estimated 1.5 million sharks every week for shark fin soup, a delicacy, according to the Associated Press. Sales have since fallen between 50 and 70 percent, the Washington Post reports, thanks in part to a ban on serving shark fin soup at government banquets. Now, Ming is hoping people in his home country will once again open their eyes to another animal cruelty. In addition to the documentary, his “Say No To Ivory” campaign has also involved television ads, billboards, and petitioning the Chinese government to ban ivory sales.