July 4 – July 17, 2021
Welcome to issue three hundred and sixty-eight of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s 10 stories include:
1. 14-Year-Old Zaila Avant-garde’s Spelling Title Cements Her Status as All-Around Legend (Slate)
2. Cavinder twins sign endorsement with Boost Mobile on NIL day, showing female athletes have plenty to gain (Yahoo Sports)
3. On Guard: Curtis McDowald Is Fighting His Way to the Top of the Fencing World (GQ)
4. ‘A totally different city’: How Tampa has changed since 2004 Stanley Cup win (Tampa Bay Times)
5. Mickey Mantle, Chairman of the Cardboard (SI)
6. Sports Fans are Looking to Sports Leagues and Athletes to Support Social Causes (Nielsen)
7. The England Football Team, Diversity And Leadership (Forbes)
8. ‘All your baseball cards came to life’: The night, 50 years ago, when 22 Hall of Famers played in an All-Star Game for the ages (ESPN)
9. The most decorated Olympian in track and field history is giving fellow athletes $10K each for childcare (Fast Company)
10. Grounded and meticulous Ash Barty writing tennis history of her own (The Guardian)
Citi’s New Paralympic Campaign Wants to Change Perceptions (Beyond Sport)
adidas joins the Common Goal movement (Common Goal)
How Purpose-Led Sports Partnerships Can Drive Positive Change (Forbes)
Where the values have their roots (Sport and Dev)
Milwaukee, We Need Y’all Energy (by Bobby Portis Jr.) (The Players’ Tribune)
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. And now we add podcasts!
Meet the First Woman Officially Drafted by the N.B.A. (NY Times)
Grit and Obsession: An Elite Athlete’s Journey (Guest: Steve Mesler) (Live Like You Play with David Eades)
The 1st Anniversary Clip Show Special (Podcast) (Beyond Sport)
While I have this feeling with every Sports Doing Good newsletter, for this one, PLEASE take time out to read all 10 articles. What a great two weeks! What I feature in each newsletter is, obviously, just a sampling of good stories but even if these 10 were all that were in the news, it could be seen as a very good two weeks.
The story I picked to highlight was not selected just for how “good” it is, but also for its relevance and timeliness. That is, it was in the news every day. The story highlights the diversity of the England national football team. The team reached the final of the most recent Euro Championship, a wonderful accomplishment. The story came out before the final game and I had selected it for the newsletter early last week. After picking a story, it is normal for there to be some ongoing discussion but with this story, it took on special importance mostly because the very diversity that is championed in the article was the target of hate and great vitriol after England lost the final a few days later in penalty kicks. It is hard to measure just how much negative energy there was but surely it was enough to be in the news for days on end.
The three players for England who missed their penalty kick are all men of color. While that, of course, has nothing to do with the result of the game, it was unfortunately not surprising to see backlash against the men. Why? Because sports doing good does not happen in a world without “sports doing bad.” And to be clear, it is not the game of football doing bad but rather a segment of the fan base. Sport gives us a forum to do the right thing or the wrong thing. Not everyone gets it right.
The countervailing support for these three players – Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho – was swift, widespread, and significant. It took place online and offline. One of the actions to garner attention was the “refacing” of a beautiful mural celebrating football player and humanitarian Marcus Rashford that was defaced after the game. Rashford is someone we have featured in the newsletter before who has a wonderful nature about him and is borne from a life of struggle that he channeled to promote the well-being of millions of young kids in England. He just this week was named the 2021 winner of the prestigious Pat Tillman Award for Service given by ESPN.
What the events of the past week showed us, again, is that the road to a world of “all good” is not linear. Actually, it is not realistic. The idea of this newsletter and so much taking place in the social good space is that we want to see more good than bad. Hopefully, A LOT more good than bad. And I know that we are getting there. And while we may have to deal with occasional negative acts to spur positive ones, I am confident that the result will be net positive. We have survived this long because of the positive acts of individuals and communities. And despite bumps in the road, those acts are signs that we are definitely moving in the right direction.
Finally, there was no way I was not going to mention Zaila Avant-garde, the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion and basketball wunderkid. If you every wanted to bet on someone changing the world, this young lady should be at the top of your list. Way to go Zaila!
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So, enjoy. And have a good week.
14-Year-Old Zaila Avant-garde’s Spelling Title Cements Her Status as All-Around Legend (Slate)
Cavinder twins sign endorsement with Boost Mobile on NIL day, showing female athletes have plenty to gain (Yahoo Sports)
On Guard: Curtis McDowald Is Fighting His Way to the Top of the Fencing World (GQ)
‘A totally different city’: How Tampa has changed since 2004 Stanley Cup win (Tampa Bay Times)
Mickey Mantle, Chairman of the Cardboard (SI)
Sports Fans are Looking to Sports Leagues and Athletes to Support Social Causes (Nielsen)
The England Football Team, Diversity And Leadership (Forbes)
‘All your baseball cards came to life’: The night, 50 years ago, when 22 Hall of Famers played in an All-Star Game for the ages (ESPN)
The most decorated Olympian in track and field history is giving fellow athletes $10K each for childcare (Fast Company)
Grounded and meticulous Ash Barty writing tennis history of her own (The Guardian)
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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SportsDoing Good Newsletter #368
July 4 – July 17, 2021