Athletes: Humans AND Philanthropists

Firstly, it’s disgusting and horrible behavior whenever we see someone launch a beer bottle in an opposing or even home team player’s direction as if it is a rocket. Dude, are you serious? I don’t care how drunk one might get at a sporting event, throwing a beer bottle should never even happen.

We see the clips online way too often. Meanwhile, offline has also taught me there is so much to learn and admire about these athletes we idolize (or despise) growing up.

I have seeen these athletes take time to give back as part of the Henry Viscardi School ‘s SportsNight gala. There was a skit with the students of HVS produced by figure skating legend JoJo Starbuck! Whether it was Keith Hernandez, Scott Hamilton, JOE NAMATH, Rod Gilbert or Jack Nicklaus , they have all been there to support the kids , who are disabled and the pride of HVS!

Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear of golf, offered to play a round golf with two attendees who tied the set bid of $500K, $250K Each ! It was a record fundraiser and a highlight of the night. More importantly it was an example of how these athletes have all the success in the world , but know it’s important to give back!

SportsNight gala memories came back to me this week while attending the 40th Anniversary of the Thurman Munson Foundation Dinner. Thanks to Ray Negron for the invite and Event Management Group for making it work out! Just like at SportsNight, personalities like WFAN’s Ann Liguori came out to support the cause!

Hosted by Thurman’s widow, Diana Munson, and AHRCNYC, the night was created in honor of the Yankee Catcher and Captain Munson who died in his own plane crash on August 2nd 1979. This year’s dinner was headlined by Yankee phenom Gleyber Torres. Gleyber won the Thurman Munson Award for his community service off the field. As a matter of fact, Torres JUST LAST YEAR took time out to visit the kids at HVS!

What a connection , right?

So , Red Sox fans, if you feel need to get aggressively loud or hurl something toward Gleyber, don’t do it! Remember that he is a human, philanthropist as much as he is a Yankee! Lou Piniella won the Captain Award at the Munson dinner, and Met closer John Franco was also honored at the event, as was current Met JD Davis!

I witnessed more philanthropy within sports at the ‘Ice Hockey in Harlem’ Fundraiser in partnership with the NHL! Fmr. New York Ranger Jeff Beukeboom and Ron Duguay came out for the special event as did current Ranger Brendan Lemieux! The night was MC’d by Ranger Announcer Sam Rosen ! From the Commissioner’s office, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly was the honoree and Commissioner Gary Bettman joined the night to support! The initiative gives kids the chance to play the amazing game of hockey through OUR help!

You can hear more of both experiences below! Also, think about it this way, more and more players and coaches have created their own foundations, continuing to show that life truly is bigger than sports!

Remember , if you ever want to hurl a bottle or get aggressive toward a player, they aren’t actually bad people just because they wear the opposing team’s jersey!


Podcast Coverage of the Thurman Munson Foundation

Podcast Coverage of the NHL Initiative ‘Ice Hockey in Harlem’

Thurman Munson Foundation Information

Ice Hockey In Harlem



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