From my latest article for WorldMag.com:
Every now and then we need a reminder of the good found in sports. In these days of corruption, cheating, self-aggrandizing, and criminal behavior, it’s so easy to become disenchanted. As one who frequently writes about sports, the negative stories are the easiest to find and comment on. That’s why stories like the ones that follow are important and deserve more attention:
- In March, players on a middle school basketball team from Kenosha, Wis., did something shockingly bold and mature. During a game they noticed rival fans picking on one of their cheerleaders, Desiree Andrews, a sweet girl who has Down syndrome. So they stopped the game to confront fans and stand up for their friend. That’s teamwork, maturity, and kindness rolled into one—and from preteen boys!
- Ernie Johnson has long been known as one of the best studio hosts on television (including TNT’s NBA coverage) and as a classy guy. He proved both in a big way at the Sports Emmy Awards this year. Upon receiving the honor for outstanding studio host, Johnson called two surprise guests on stage with him, Taelor and Sydni Scott, the daughters of Stuart Scott, the beloved anchor for ESPN who died of cancer earlier this year. “It all started with Stuart,” said Johnson, who then turned to the girls, handed them the award, and said, “This is your Emmy.” It was a touching and generous act.
- The Baltimore Orioles had two games postponed, played another game in an empty stadium, and then played a “home” series in the “visiting” team’s stadium during the recent unrest after the death of Freddie Gray. When they took the field again at Camden Yards on May 11, something was different. Instead of their traditional “Orioles” jerseys the team wore their home whites with “Baltimore” stitched on the front as a statement of support and pride in their city. Even small symbols can help in troubled times.
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