Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #288

May 20 – June 2, 2018

Welcome to issue two hundred and eighty-eight of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s 10 stories include:


1.      HBO’s New Film ‘The Tale’ Documents A Survivor’s Story

2.      Sports Stadiums Help Lead the Way Toward Greener Architecture

3.      This is where top NFL rookies go on their first business trip

4.      Beyond Sport Global Awards Receive Record Number of Applications

5.      With fair play, tolerance and team spirit, sport can score for peace and development, say UN officials

6.      Extra Yard for Teachers Will Power STEAM in the Bay Area

7.      PeacePlayers built on vision of 2 brothers

8.      On Twitter, Bill Russell Has Jokes, Takes, and a Lasting Legacy of Activism

9.      Orlando Little League reunion offers perfect pitch of colorblind history

10.   Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif graduates from medical school



What I’ve Lost and What I’ve Gained (by Mohamed Massaquoi) (The Players’ Tribune)

Women In Football Launches #WHATIF Campaign (Beyond Sport)

Being a champion is not enough to set an example to young people (Peace and Sport)  

Using Golf to Teach Honesty, Sportsmanship, Perseverance, and Courtesy (Up2Us Sports)

How to Teach Accountability In A Positive Way (TrueSport)


One thing we have learned doing the newsletter for the past 5+ years is to never take for granted the good work and actions by people, places, organizations, companies, etc. That is part of the reason we still do the newsletter after 287 issues. The good never gets boring to us. We are regularly impressed, motivated, inspired, and entertained by activities related to sport and we do the newsletter because we want you to know about them as well. And we want everyone to be encouraged to continue to do good themselves and to support others in a similar vein. By publicizing the good we are helping to “change the conversation” often dominated by the negative in society.

This past week we again saw the good, actually the VERY good, with respect to performance in a sports setting. Yes, LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and others from the Cavaliers and Warriors have been featured before in Sports Doing good. And yes, this is the fourth year in a row that these teams are meeting in the NBA Finals. But please, let’s not take these individuals or their teams for granted. We often identify excellence in something based on longevity. And while I understand there is some level of fatigue with these players and teams, it is hard to be mad that they are matching up again in the Finals. They continue to excel individually and as teams and for sports fans, that is a gift that we should always appreciate.

The stories that we are lucky enough to feature this week include: a new film at HBO that highlights the struggle and never-ending fight of a young lady dealing with abuse by her coach; how some sports stadiums are leading the way when it comes to green architecture; the introduction of NFL rookies to the business and professional opportunities that are there for them; the record number of applications for this year’s Beyond Sport Awards; acknowledgement by the United Nations of the power of sport to affect peace and development across society; a wonderful program giving teachers some resources to lead students in the STEAM fields; the birth and development of sports non-profit, PeacePlayers International; the everlasting insights of and impact of NBA legend Bill Russell; an Orlando Little League reunion that highlights the forward-thinking of a group of young baseball players; and the story of the first-ever active NFL player and medical school graduate, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

Finally, we want to let you know that our friends at Johns Hopkins are enrolling the next cohort for its Sports Impact Leadership Certificate. They are hosting an information session on Wednesday, June 13 from 1:00pm-2:00pm EST.  Those interested can email to sign up. And those Sports Doing Good subscribers who may want to enroll for the fall session that begins October 25, 2018 can get a discounted rate of $3910 up until August 24, 2018 using the code SDG18.?

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 And we are now also on Instagram. Find us at sportsdoinggood.


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So, enjoy. And have a good week.

HBO’s New Film ‘The Tale’ Documents A Survivor’s Story
At a recent screening at the HBO Studios in New York City, three women — all from different backgrounds — discussed how sexual assault had affected them and what being a survivor of sexual assault means to them now. With over 100 people in the room, the conversation was raw and honest, with the attendees asking questions and sharing their own stories. Fox and two fellow panelists — Nancy-Hogshead Makar, a rape survivor and an Olympic gold medalist in swimming, and Elizabeth Blackney, also a rape survivor, and a board member of the nonprofit the Equality League — engaged in a heavy but hopeful conversation, rejecting the term “victim.” Other survivors like Olympic champion in judo Kayla Harrison and speedskater Bridie Farrell have both used their platforms as athletes and survivors to raise awareness about sexual abuse. Today, there’s a collective movement that’s allowing Fox, Hogshead-Makar, Blackney, and other courageous athletes to share stories in a space that feels safe and supportive. These safe spaces have given the survivors of sexual abuse an army that is backing them when they do come forward, such as the 156 gymnasts who read powerful victim impact testimonies against sexual abuser Larry Nassar earlier this year.

Filmmaker Jennifer Fox. Photo by Kyle Kaplan/HBO.

Sports Stadiums Help Lead the Way Toward Greener Architecture

Mr. Jenkins, an evangelist for all things green, was animated. The otherwise generic structure, he said, holds up to 680,000 gallons of rainwater collected mostly from the roof of the enormous stadium standing just a few feet away. The runoff is used to irrigate the vegetation around the building, and by storing much of it, flooding will be reduced in the low-lying West End neighborhood nearby. In other words, the 120-foot-long cistern saves money and helps the surrounding area. “It’s a community play as much as an environmental play, to do our part around issues in the neighborhood,” Mr. Jenkins said. “If you looked at the return on investment for the water, it will take a long time to pay off. But some of this is good for business and some is good for the community.” The cistern is one of the environmental centerpieces of the building, the first stadium to win Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council, which grades sustainable design and energy efficiency. Builders earn points for including features like efficient lighting, air-conditioning and water fixtures; for locating their structures near public transportation; and for using locally sourced and recycled materials. Mercedes-Benz Stadium, largely paid for by Arthur Blank, whose football and soccer teams play inside, secured 88 out of a potential 110 points, more than enough to receive the top LEED ranking.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is the first to win Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification for energy efficiency and sustainable design. Credit Kevin D. Liles for The New York Times

This is where top NFL rookies go on their first business trip

The New York Jets drafted Sam Darnold third overall at the 2018 NFL Draft, and the young quarterback says it’s been great to meet with various brands, but perhaps the most valuable aspect of the weekend has been being able to get advice from NFL vets who have been through this process, and managed to balance their career between the business and the filed. “Like Jay Z said, ‘I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man,’ and I think that’s the mentality you need to have in this process,” says Darnold. “It’s amazing to talk with these former players, mapping out what we’re going to go through, how we should best approach it, how to treat yourself as a business in your career. I’ve tried to conduct myself in a way that is true to myself, just as I did in the [NFL] combine interviews because I want these teams and companies to know what they’re getting.” Retired New England Patriots star and former Super Bowl champ Willie McGinest is there as a player ambassador and was at the very first Rookie Premiere in 1994. Back then, McGinest says it was just about starting to understand the business he was about to embark on. “As young athletes, many aren’t prepared for what’s to come, which is natural, but you lean on the veterans and mentors, and people from the NFLPA who can give you a snapshot of what’s to come, says McGinest, adding Rookie Premiere is on a whole other level now.

[Photo: courtesy of Kevin Koski/NFLPA]

Beyond Sport Global Awards Receive Record Number of Applications

In its tenth anniversary year, the Beyond Sport Global Awards received a staggering 355 applications, the most in the event’s history. The group of projects submitted come from over 100 countries across 6 continents, using more than 40 different sports as vehicles for positive social change. With a wide range of projects — from cricket in Kenya, to running in Nepal, to capoeira in Brazil — this year’s group of applicants is strong as it is diverse. The Awards will continue its positive relationship with the professional sports world. Over 20 teams submitted applications this year, with representatives from all five major US leagues, along with the English Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, and many more across the globe. This year’s exceptional applicant pool will continue to expand the diverse Beyond Sport Network. This year saw over 150 new organizations join the global network of sport for social change organizations, which includes over 2,800 projects from 154 countries. The tenth annual Awards will celebrate best practice from around the world, showcasing how sport is being used to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). In doing so, the Beyond Sport Foundation will facilitate funding of over $300,000 to this year’s Winners, as well as strategic business support in order to support the growth of our incredible Shortlist and Winners in helping them become more sustainable in the future.

With fair play, tolerance and team spirit, sport can score for peace and development, say UN officials
“Fair play, tolerance and team spirit – sports have a unique potential to help develop and reinforce positive life skills and values, and expand prospects, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC),” told a Headquarters event on ‘Crime Prevention and Sustainable Development through Sport.’ He underscored that sports offer a practical, cost-effective means to help prevent violence and crime, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs), adopted by world leaders in 2015 as a blueprint to achieve a healthy planet where people can live free of poverty and hunger by 2030. “This event is a wonderful opportunity to further advance awareness of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, and its vital message,” he continued. “Let us take this chance to engage with sports champions and young men and women around the world. Working together, we can harness sport as a force for positive change.” The Executive Director highlighted the importance of major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup, saying they “have the power to inspire and build bridges.” “We must take these events as golden opportunities to raise awareness, to promote tolerance and respect, and advance efforts towards peace and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” he asserted.–tolerance-and-team-spirit–sport-can-score-for-peace-and-development–say-un-officials.html

Extra Yard for Teachers Will Power STEAM in the Bay Area
On Friday, the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers hosted 20 teachers at Levi’s Stadium to launch the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers platform across the Bay Area. Over the next year, counting down to the college football national championship game due to be held at Levi’s Stadium next January, the program will bring in more teachers and advocate for resources to support STEAM education. “We have the benefit of leveraging a sports platform for a social cause, in this case education,” said Britton Banowsky, executive director of the CFP Foundation about the Extra Yard initiative. The program is unique in each community where the title game is played, and continues long after the clock runs to zero. The game in 2017 in Tampa., Fla. focused on college readiness, and the Foundation continues to work on that goal more than a year later. The objective for Extra Yard in Silicon Valley is to support the teaching of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. “STEAM is not unique to the Valley,” explained Jesse Lovejoy, director of the 49ers EDU program and Bay Area Host Committee education director, “but we’re in a unique position to address it here. It’s what we do.”

Bay Area teachers build and test their own shoulder pads at an Extra Yard for Teachers event at Levi’s Stadium on May 18, 2018. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)

PeacePlayers built on vision of 2 brothers

The Tuohey boys grew up in Washington, D.C., in the diverse neighborhood of Shepherd Park. They spent hours on the playground playing basketball and attended Gonzaga High School, a Jesuit school in D.C. Both experiences were valuable influences. “Getting a Jesuit education built on what we learned from our parents about the importance of helping others and improving the community,” Brendan said. The high school basketball was also some of the best in the country, and the Tuohey brothers fit right in. “It was a very diverse group, and for white, upper-middle-class young people, that doesn’t always happen. I don’t want to say I didn’t see race, but when you grow up like that, it’s not a big deal. Basketball enabled us to have those types of experiences.” Brendan went to Colgate, where he played on the same team as Adonal Foyle, and studied philosophy and religion. He thought he would follow in his father’s footsteps and go to law school, but the urge to travel and continue to play ball took him to Ireland at 22, where he played on a club team and coached. While in Ireland, he got involved in basketball clinics that brought together Protestant and Catholic students. When his brother Sean, who played basketball at Catholic University, joined him for a week in Dublin and Belfast, they worked on a similar project. “We both loved it and wanted to do more,” Brendan said.

Children practice basketball skills at a clinic in Jerusalem in 2017. Photo: Jared Bernstein

On Twitter, Bill Russell Has Jokes, Takes, and a Lasting Legacy of Activism

For historian Aram Goudsouzian, author of King of the Court: Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution, it was an influential gesture of camaraderie. “Sports can be so powerful politically, because it reaches an audience that isn’t looking for politics,” he told VICE Sports. For Goudsouzian, the post was compelling, “a very conscious use of imagery within the American tradition.” It reminded the public that present day players’ actions are no different than those undertaken by Russell decades earlier. Throughout his career, from college courts to the hardwood of Boston Garden and beyond, Russell confronted and spoke out against many forms of racism. He was subjected to Jim Crow segregation while traveling with the Celtics for exhibition games in the late 1950s and early 1960s; after a restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky refused to serve him and other African-American teammates in 1961, the group boycotted the game. A Civil Rights activist, Russell proactively supported friend Muhammed Ali’s 1967 refusal to be drafted by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Despite being a well-known and talented professional basketball player, Russell still encountered everyday discrimination, and he readily called attention to it. In short, according to Goudsouzian, as one of its first great black superstar athletes, Russell helped integrate the NBA.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Little League reunion offers perfect pitch of colorblind history
The Orlando Kiwanis Little Leaguers and the Pensacola Jaycees can look back on their exploits and raise a toast without any embellishment. Their monumental achievement is basic at its core: A bunch of kids who wanted to play baseball. One team had all black players. The other all white players. And that’s how history kicked in, giving us a splendid example of the unifying power of sports in the summer of 1955. The Orlando and Pensacola teams would play the first integrated Little League game in the South, at Lake Lorna Doone Park in Orlando on Aug. 9, 1955. On a rainy Tuesday morning, some of the players who made history gathered there again to commemorate that journey, now etched in a powerful film called “Long Time Coming,” which opened this week at the Florida Film Festival. Only a dozen men came, some representing others who have passed way. But the numbers only reflect the strength from nearly 63 years ago, when they were the Power of One. “We wanted to play baseball,” said Spider LeRoy, who played for Pensacola. “We weren’t concerned about history.”

Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif graduates from medical school

While the rest of the Chiefs took some time off after playoff losses each of the past two seasons, Duvernay-Tardif went right to medical school. He has said repeatedly during the past few years that the Chiefs and particularly coach Andy Reid have been great about allowing him to pursue his medical degree. The Global News in Canada said Duvernay-Tardif’s schedule last summer was to treat patients while training in anesthesia during the morning, then in the afternoon he’d be in the gym to keep with his training schedule. Duvernay-Tardif even found some similarities between his two professions. “In an emergency department, you have to be able to stay calm, relaxed and apply rational algorithms to different situations in order to save patients lives,” Duvernay-Tardif told the Global News last summer.  “When you’re on the field in front of 80,000 people and everyone’s yelling at you, you’ve got to stay calm, you’ve got to analyze different scenarios and apply the algorithm of the protection on that play.”

Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will graduate from medical school on Tuesday. (AP)


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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.

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