Recently Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer organized an exhibition to raise funds for the fires in Australia. These are some of the athletes who year after year strive to help others.
In recent years more athletes have taken an altruistic position for the world around them, who are not strangers or do not pretend not to know, with the different situations that happen on the planet. And although surely these aids go hand in hand with a benefit of their own, be it called tax exemptions and so on (not in all cases), the important thing is that with high amounts of money they try to appease different problems. Recently, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal joined in an exhibition match to raise funds for people who have been affected by fires in Australia.
In total it was 250 thousand dollars that were gathered in a day in which Serena Williams was present with Novak Djokovic. But beyond the sporadic events, some actions take a long time, campaigns that the best athletes in the world have been supporting for many years.
For example, LeBron James, the Lakers' player, has donated more than $50 million in the last 10 years to help low-income children in the United States gain access to top-level universities.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the man from Juventus and the one who is arrogant in front of the cameras, has a huge heart. He created a care center for children with cancer in his country, donates blood frequently, and helps little ones in particular, as the case of a 10-year-old boy who did not have intervention in his brain and which he took care of financially.
In addition, when fires broke out in Portugal in 2017, CR7 took care of the medical treatment of the 370 people who were victims of the fires. Similarly, after the earthquake in Madeira in 2010, the footballer assumed the costs of those who lost their homes.
The long list also includes Michael Phelps, the best swimmer in the world, who after winning the last of his gold medals at the Olympics (Rio de Janeiro 2016), used the million-dollar bonus given to him by Speedo to promote a healthy lifestyle campaign for children under 15, that is, to fight obesity and juvenile diabetes, among other diseases.
Neymar is not far behind in helping others either. In addition to participating in several campaigns, the PSG player has a program to combat Ebola in the most marginal regions of Brazil, as well as an ongoing project to bring clean water to places in his country that do not have access to it. In addition, there is the Instituto Projeto Neymar JR. which each year serves 2,600 low-income children by combining sport, good nutrition, and education.
And not only are they highly recognized athletes. This is the case of the professional wrestler Ronda Rousey, who has a center for the treatment of mental illness and another for the prevention of suicide. She also promotes judo with free training and is part of campaigns to fight hunger in Africa. And not only does she appear on social networks, but she also takes out her checkbook (in 2019 she donated 10 million dollars).
Another woman, of the many generous women in the sport, is South Korean skater Kim Yu Na, who helped build schools in Sudan. The initiative started with 50 and thanks to her contributions, more than 100 institutions are now involved. Serena Williams, the best tennis player of all time, is also doing her bit, or better yet, her mountain of sand. In addition to being an ambassador for UNICEF, she gives nearly $12 million a year to help undernourished children.
We cannot leave out of this list Marc Soler and the days when he was seen in the Mediterranean Sea helping African refugees who arrived in Europe, and who continue to arrive, in search of a better future. Only one week after being there helping with food, clothes, water, non-perishable products, another volunteer realized that he was the man from the NBA Raptors.
Then there are the African athletes, some of the most generous with their people. Sadio Mané, a striker from Liverpool, has built several schools in Senegal, has monthly food distribution campaigns. Now he has in mind the construction of a hospital in Sedhiou, the village where he grew up on the banks of the Casanza River.
Along the same lines are Samuel Eto'o and his orphanage in Cameroon (now a foundation with several homes that wants to help homeless children in his country) and Didier Drogba and his constant donations in Ivory Coast (he made a hospital in Abidjan on the condition that the government would not charge for public services. It cost him £3 million).
The list is very long and to mention all the sportsmen and women who do social work would be rather wasteful (Lionel Messi and his foundations, Radamel Falcao Garcia, among others, are missing). The truth is that beyond cars and jewels, mansions, trips, and a first-world life, athletes do not forget where they came from, something necessary to know where they are going.