Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #141

Dec. 7 – Dec. 13, 2014

Welcome to week one hundred forty-one of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s 10 stories include:

  1. Archie Griffin still Heisman standard; Fraternity members show admiration for humble, hard-working, two-time winner
  2. The Enduring Importance of the Activist Athlete
  3. Nash: A Documentary Film
  4. Green Sports Alliance (GSA) recruits fans, athletes and suppliers to join the big leagues in protecting the earth
  5. Jack Poised to Fulfill a Promise He Made 10 Years Ago
  6. Speeding Up and Shrinking, Rugby Extends Global Reach
  7. Secretary of the Navy: After game, rivals work side by side
  8. Derrick Rose Sees Taking a Stand as His Responsibility
  9. Royal Foundation, NBA announce partnership
  10. Wilt Chamberlain becomes first NBA player ever to appear on U.S. postage stamp

So many of our stories each week, including this week, feature teams, leagues, non-profits, and companies do good things. This group of the “more than 1” leverage their strengths, skills, and resources to influence, impact and inspire. While recognizing and lauding these efforts, we do not aim to ignore the good being done by the individual athlete, coach, executive, and “everyday” person.

While the individuals in this week’s newsletter won’t soon be seen as “everyday persons,” their own efforts are of the type which draw their specialness from the impact they can have on society-at-large. The stories this week include: Archie Griffin, the only 2-time Heisman Trophy winner continuing to live a life based on hard-work and being humble; a documentary on another NBA MVP Steve Nash; Brooklyn Net Jarrett Jack earning his degree from Georgia Tech; socially-active NBA MVP Derrick Rose wearing a “I Can’t Breathe” shirt; and the honoring of one of the greatest athletes of all-time, HOF basketball player, Wilt Chamberlain.

In addition to those wonderful stories, we are happy to feature those including: a thoughtful essay by Dave Zirin; a look at the Green Sports Alliance; the global growth of the sport of rugby; the great Army-Navy football rivalry; and the newly formed partnership between the Royal Foundation and the NBA.

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

Finally, if you think others would like to receive the newsletter, please feel free to forward it on or have them contact us directly at (If you do not want to receive the newsletter anymore you can use the Unsubscribe button at the end of the email)

So enjoy. And have a good week.

Archie Griffin still Heisman standard; Fraternity members show admiration for humble, hard-working, two-time winner
He has never met a stranger. He never loses his patience. That means, when he’s dining out in his hometown of Columbus, he never finishes a meal without interruption from a Buckeye who wants to tell him about how he saw Griffin rush for 160 yards versus UCLA as a senior, or wants to hear about how Griffin never lost to Michigan (3-0-1) in four seasons, or, What was Woody Hayes like? “I feel it’s a gift that could be taken away at any time,” he said. “I’m going to appreciate that gift, let people know I appreciate the way that they think of me. … Yesterday, I must have been asked three or four times about football. For people to remember after that period of time? It blows me away! It really does. It blows me away.”

Archie Griffin poses with the 1975 Heisman Trophy after he became the first two-time winner. AP Photo

The Enduring Importance of the Activist Athlete
These athletes, as sure as the viral video of the police killing Eric Garner, are now acting as a transmission belt from the communities of their birth to a white majority that often does not acknowledge the existence of this other America. In fact, one could argue they are the most effective transmission belt in pushing people to see a truth in how communities of color are forced to live. The next step would be for white athletes to now take the ball and wear a shirt of their own, maybe reading “My Teammates’ Lives Matter” to further impress upon fans that this is not a “black issue” but a national call for all of us to claim some semblance of humanity. (The first non-black athlete did wear an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt Tuesday night, Taiwanese-American Lakers guard Jeremy Lin.)

Los Angeles Lakers, from right, Jeremy Lin, Wayne Ellington, Carlos Boozer, Jordan Clarkson and Nick Young wear “I Can’t Breathe” shirts in support of the family of Eric Garner. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Nash: A Documentary Film
This poignant coming of age documentary will illustrate a boy experiencing a goal of playing basketball and how that game helped transform him into a man. But if you think you are going to see a film with just basketball highlights sorry to disappoint. It was also important to show the other side of Steve, the side that many of us don’t get a chance to see when watching a game on TV, the humanitarian, the father, the filmmaker. We show a human element of life outside the arena as Steve battles with the self-congratulation and self – loathing that often accompanies the celebrity life style. Through raw, unique and authentic conversations this production will shed an amazing light on what fuels the man behind the basketball player.

Green Sports Alliance (GSA) recruits fans, athletes and suppliers to join the big leagues in protecting the earth
Since then, GSA has expanded to more than 350 members from 20 leagues  in 13 countries. With the help of renowned environmentalist Dr. Allen Hershkowitz as its newly appointed President and Justin Zeulner, a leader in the greening of professional sports, its Chief Operating Officer, GSA is shifting the  way the public thinks about sustainability in a non-political manner. “Almost every neighbourhood has a baseball, hockey or basketball court. Every newspaper in the country, and maybe around the world has a section on sports. This is a message, people really engage with this issue. The most satisfying thing in all this for me is that it is just non-political,” Hershkowitz told The Vancouver Observer.

Jack Poised to Fulfill a Promise He Made 10 Years Ago
Come Saturday morning, Jarrett Jack is going to be a more complete man – more proud, more confident, more ready to meet the future, whatever it may be. Jack, the Nets’ backup point guard, will fulfill a promise he made to his family and himself 10 years ago. He will get his degree in Business Management from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. That’s a nice story. But it’s only half the story. “It’s a big personal achievement,’’ Jack said. “Finally I’ve rounded third and hit the finish line. I can finally say I’m a college graduate.’’ That final stretch – the other half of this story – will be a whirlwind of the surreal.

Speeding Up and Shrinking, Rugby Extends Global Reach
“We’re not guaranteed a place in the Olympics beyond 2020,” Egan said. “We know that we have to deliver a quality product, and we think rugby sevens offers a real festival feel — an open, accessible, entertaining game for both men and women that is easy to understand but still fun to watch.” The scene at the Sevens Stadium here last week was emblematic of that sentiment. Opened in 2008, the complex had the capacity to hold about 100,000 fans — most of them expatriates — for the three-day event, which included youth and adult team tournaments alongside the professional men’s and women’s matches. On Friday, many fans arrived in costumes — there was a particularly impressive pack of “Star Wars” storm troopers who kept their masks on despite the beating sun — and the stands filled throughout a day of action that stretched for nearly 12 hours.

Canadian players in a rugby sevens tournament last week in the United Arab Emirates, where there was no national rugby team until 2011. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

Secretary of the Navy: After game, rivals work side by side
Around the world, our sailors and Marines on the seven seas and our nation’s deployed soldiers, future teammates of those taking the field in Baltimore, will take a break from their hard work and sit down to cheer for their services, as they have for more than a century. And while the Army-Navy game offers a brief moment of competition between the services, we all remember that as the cannon fires to mark the end of the game we are brothers and sisters in arms. We might be rivals on the football field, but after the game we remain brothers and sisters who have, from our nation’s very beginning, including the last 13 years of war, fought side by side, defending the American people.

Derrick Rose Sees Taking a Stand as His Responsibility
In Chicago, his hometown, Rose was already known as someone with a social conscience even before he wore the T-shirt. This year, he donated $1 million to After School Matters, a local charity. Two years ago, he broke down in tears talking about the devastating effects of gang violence on Chicago. And, Flowers said, he and Rose still get calls from old friends and neighbors when gangs or gun violence take a toll. “Just because he doesn’t talk a lot doesn’t mean he’s not thinking,” said Flowers, now a basketball coach at their alma mater, Simeon Career Academy. “He’s very concerned about his role in the city.”

The Bulls’ Derrick Rose, before a game on Saturday, wore a T-shirt similar to ones that LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have since worn. Credit Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune

Royal Foundation, NBA announce partnership
The Royal Foundation and the NBA on Sunday announced a partnership between the Foundation’s United for Wildlife and Coach Core programs and the league’s NBA Cares global social responsibility program. The partnership will raise awareness about the importance of international wildlife conservation, develop the next generation of conservation leaders, and grow the game of basketball. To celebrate the partnership, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend their first NBA game tomorrow when the Brooklyn Nets host the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center.

Wilt Chamberlain becomes first NBA player ever to appear on U.S. postage stamp
The Chamberlain Forever stamps’ official commemoration will come on Dec. 5 in Wilt’s hometown of Philadelphia in a ceremony held during halftime of the Philadelphia 76ers’ home game against Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center. The ceremony will feature “a special three-dimensional tribute video using the team’s state-of-the-art court projection system,” according to a Sixers statement shared by’s Steve Aschburner, and the team will “celebrate the life and legacy of the legendary Chamberlain with videos during breaks in play.” They’re going to need an awful lot of breaks in play to properly fete the 13-time All-Star, four-time Most Valuable Player and two-time champion, who still ranks fifth in NBA history in career points scored, sixth in total minutes played, and tops in total rebounds, more than four decades after his final game.–postage-stamp–photos-182722708.html

The U.S. Postal Service’s Wilt Chamberlain stamps. (Images via USPS)

Quick Links…Our WebsiteMore About Us
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 forward 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.We invite you to send in news, press releases, and guest pieces for possible publication, and email us with suggestions about the content and format of the newsletter and Sports Doing Good website.
Contact InformationSarbjit “Sab” Singh