It has been an interesting week. Last weekend I was out in Buffalo for Project Play Western New York. This week I have been out in California for meetings with more sports youth organizations, promoting Sports Philanthropy WORLD 2020 and meeting with speakers and sponsors for that event coming up June 25-26, 2020. If you would like to register, you can get our SUPER EARLY BIRD rate through December 31, 2019.
For much of the week I have been attending MEGASUCCESS, a conference run by JT Foxx. It has been an amazing experience. I have also had an opportunity to reconnect with some good friends and have a chance to sit down for meaningful conversations with people who are trying to change the world.
Amidst all of the travel and activity, I am feeling very thankful for the people that I have in my life and recognize how fortunate I am to have many supportive people in my life. While I am involved with sports philanthropy all year round, especially at this holiday time, I encourage people to think about their good fortune and donate to causes that help with food insecurity. Blessing in a Backpack is great organization my daughter Julia is raising money for through her sorority. Blessings helps feed children in need and is something that runs across all races and geographic locations.
What I was following this week:
- Colin Kaepernick—This situation got out of control quick. You can see what I wrote about “Plenty of Blame to Go Around in NFL/Kaepernick Fiasco.” Ultimately, even many of those who have spoken out in support of Kaepernick’s right to protest, like Stephen A. Smith, have come down harshly on him agreeing with what I wrote about him trying to dictate terms of a job interview. Stephen A’s comments this morning focused on the fact that the NFL was even allowing him an opportunity after he sued them, took a huge settlement and more. I will be surprised if he ends up on an NFL roster this season.
- Tua Tagovailoa injury—People heaped blame on Saban, but the injury occurred in the first half so that is clearly absurd. No team sits starters in the first half, regardless of the score. The bigger concern might be the issue raised when it became apparent that Tua did not have the proper insurance to protect him in the event of an injury. That is a place where they are rightfully angry at the school because he should have had coverage to protect a drop in value, not just the total permanent disability. This is why athletes need representation to help them negotiate and ensure the proper steps are taken.
- Athlete violence—In the wake of the Myles Garrett fiasco, there were many calls for the NFL to take a stronger stance against domestic violence or other violence against women. Some expressed disappointment that there was more outrage from Garrett’s conduct than some of the recent examples of violence directed to women. It becomes interesting to watch some of the double standards that exist where players and many members of the media seem to be more willing to give players a second chance or benefit of the doubt for a domestic violence incident than they do for Myles Garrett’s helmet swing, with some calling for a permanent ban.
- The NCPA (National College Players Association) held an event at UCLA which was primarily focused on two issues: 1) health and safety of college athletes; 2) whether players should be paid or allowed to capitalize on their name image and likeness. The stories from the women on the first panel were heartbreaking. Listening to the abuse they suffered and hearing about the number of failures in the administration, you have to wonder how so many people could turn a blind eye to their pleas. Yet it has happened frequently. (You can read my more detailed summary of each panel coming soon if you check back on this site). The second panel focused on the issue of payments to players, either in the form of direct payments from the schools or allowing athletes to capitalize on their name image and likeness. Here are a few articles that I have previously written about the topic.
- MEGASUCCESS by JT Foxx—Each year JT Foxx puts together an incredible lineup of celebrities for his MegaSuccess event. So far, the event has featured: Hugh Hilton, Steadman Graham, Gabriel Macht (Harvey Spector from Suits), Omarosa, Dr. Phil, Vince Vaughn, Dolph Lundgren, Jillian Michaels and many others. The celebrity aspect is truly just one part of the environment because the event draws over 2500 entrepreneurs from over 80 countries around the world. It is an incredible opportunity to engage with business leaders from around the world, learn about different cultures and network with successful business people trying to help each other improve their businesses.
- California Organizations—Great trip out to California to have the chance to meet with several organizations. Met with LA Scores (Spotlight), AVP First (Spotlight) and GOALS (Spotlight coming soon). Each of them perform incredible work in their community and I especially enjoy the opportunity to take a site visit and see the way each group works. If you want to support our efforts to help organization’s like these, you can become a member of the Sports Philanthropy Network by joining here!
- Project Play Western New York— Last weekend I had the honor to present to Project Play of Western New York in Buffalo. There were over 75 people leading youth sports organizations about how to improve their organizations and build their capacity. There was amazing energy in the room and people that are very passionate about helping kids in their community remain active, learn through sports and develop needed life skills and relationship building through their sports activities. A special treat to end the trip was the hospitality of the Buffalo Sabres who gave me my peek into the Key Bank Center as they hosted “Hockey Fights Cancer” night. I managed to be a good luck charm to help the Sabres end their 7-game losing streak (with a 4-goal game from Jack Eichel).
If you didn’t have a chance to see some of the other things I have been involved with or written recently, take a look here:
- Sports Philanthropy Newsstand, November 22, 2019
- Why an 8 Team Playoff Will Save College Football
- Plenty of Blame to Go Around in NFL/Kaepernick Fiasco
- FIRE SABAN!! Be Careful What You Wish For ‘Bama Fans
- Why Second Guessing Playcalling is Like Second Guessing Rock, Paper, Scissors
- Roy’s Ramble November 15, 2019
- Roy’s Ramble November 8, 2019
Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!