May 24 – June 6, 2020
Welcome to issue three hundred and thirty-nine of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s 10 stories include:
1. Sport needs more than good intentions in its battle with racism (SportsPro Media)
2. FIFA adds voice to protests over Floyd’s death (Reuters)
3. Gonzaga’s Mark Few to cancel all team activities on Election Day, wants other coaches to join him (ESPN)
4. How Sports Can Help Rebuild America (Aspen Institute)
5. Athing Mu Might Be America’s Fastest Teenager. How Much Faster Will She Be in 2021? (New York Times)
6. What Jaguars QB and rocket scientist Josh Dobbs learned at NASA (ESPN)
7. Carlos Arroyo Isn’t Setting Up Stars Anymore—He Is One (Bleacher Report)
8. He Lost His Leg, Then Rediscovered the Bicycle. Now He’s Unstoppable. (Bicycling)
9. With Live Sports Slate Still Light, Americans Want Documentaries on Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth (Morning Consult)
10. The marketing man behind the success of India’s U17 FIFA World Cup (Voice of Indian Sports)
Silence Is Violence (by Mark Fraser) (The Players’ Tribune)
Our Commitment to Black Lives (Beyond Sport)
We Stand With Coaches (by Paul Caccamo ) (Up2Us Sports)
This is a We Thing (by Caron Butler) (The Players’ Tribune)
The mixture for a better world through sports (Sport and Dev)
We present again our “Featured Video” offering(s). With the explosion of video content out there highlighting the good in sport, we want to showcase such content for your enjoyment and learning. This will be an ongoing effort.
NBA Together: Virtual Roundtable Discussion on police brutality and health inequity (NBA.com)
Spurs Voices: Gregg Popovich (YouTube)
For once, Don’t Do It (Nike) (YouTube)
This has been a very emotional two weeks since the last Sports Doing Good newsletter. The day after the May 24 newsletter, George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. I am pretty sure that I don’t have to tell you what happened next but I do feel a need to address the event and its aftermath, even if you question why in a newsletter called Sports Doing Good.
I saw the video and read the stories. And then I saw more video. I was in tears. It will never leave me. I saw a man being murdered, actually tortured, in public. Almost 9 minutes of suffocation led, not surprisingly, to his unnecessary death. I thought my outrage peaked two weeks earlier when I saw video of Ahmaud Arbery being killed. How could it happen, again? And this time at the hands of policemen, who are charged to “protect and serve” and have unfortunately been in the opposite position too often.
So the reason I bring it up in the newsletter is that this type of tragedy has happened before and the sports world has reacted, but too often underwhelmingly. Players, usually only African-Americans, have stepped up and made their voices heard. They have also opened their wallets to support the family of the person killed and to support groups that are trying to eradicate such horrible events. But where were the white athletes (yes, there were a few like Chris Long)? Where were the coaches, general managers, team presidents, league commissioners? Well, the events kept happening, and we seemed to hear the same voices. What I saw and heard over the last two weeks, especially the last few days, is that enough is enough. We are hearing those other voices. I am encouraged by the quantity and quality of the messages being expressed publicly. We are seeing sports leagues, companies, teams, athletes – black, white, and other, and organizations taking a public stand, donating A LOT of money, and in some instances, admitting error in past actions towards this ongoing problem. Admitting a problem exists is often an essential step toward fixing that problem.
So where do we go from here? We keep making our voices heard but we do more. We have to. We vote, we push for legislation, we demand accountability, and though I wish we didn’t have to, we keep those cameras rolling. Too many of our black brothers and sisters have been killed without getting any notice, without any justice. That has to change.
And sports has an opportunity here. An opportunity to lead. The NBA and yes, the NFL, can be at the forefront. MLB, MLS, NHL and the UFC can be heard. The NCAA. Nike, Adidas, Under Armour. Millions of people in the U.S. and around the world love these entities and the athletes associated with them. Because of that, they have a responsibility to be leaders. That is what one of the things we love about sports. How players and teams step up. How people work together. That is certainly needed when dealing with something as evil as systemic racism.
I’d like to close my thoughts on this with some positivity, by highlighting an effort with which I have been associated for the past six years, ESPN’s Sports Humanitarian Awards. Recently, ESPN announced the finalists for the 2020 Sports Humanitarian Awards. You will see once again an incredibly impressive group of individuals, teams, leagues and corporations
I applaud ESPN for saying years ago that great works need to be recognized, and that athletes, teams, leagues and companies should want to do good and be recognized for it. Being a judge for the Awards has given me a direct look at amazing work that oftentimes deals with important issues impacted by racism, such as inequities in education, healthcare, housing, and sports access, amongst other things. Thanks to Kevin Martinez, Jennifer Paulett, and the Corporate Citizenship team at ESPN for providing me this life-enhancing opportunity.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (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.
Sport needs more than good intentions in its battle with racism (SportsPro Media)
FIFA adds voice to protests over Floyd’s death (Reuters)
Gonzaga’s Mark Few to cancel all team activities on Election Day, wants other coaches to join him (ESPN)
How Sports Can Help Rebuild America (Aspen Institute)
Athing Mu Might Be America’s Fastest Teenager. How Much Faster Will She Be in 2021? (New York Times)
What Jaguars QB and rocket scientist Josh Dobbs learned at NASA (ESPN)
Carlos Arroyo Isn’t Setting Up Stars Anymore—He Is One (Bleacher Report)
He Lost His Leg, Then Rediscovered the Bicycle. Now He’s Unstoppable. (Bicycling)
With Live Sports Slate Still Light, Americans Want Documentaries on Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth (Morning Consult)
The marketing man behind the success of India’s U17 FIFA World Cup (Voice of Indian Sports)
More 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.
Sarbjit “Sab” Singh
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Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #339
May 24 – June 6, 2020