This has been a terrible year for Ethics Heroes. No, I don’t consider a sexual harassment or sexual abuse victim who comes out and accuses a man ten years after the alleged incident a hero. A hero would risk her own interests and welfare to protect all the potential victims over those ten years, by blowing the whistle before the harm to others, not after it. No, millionaire football players who engage in pointless and incoherent protests to turn what should be a unifying public event into a divisive one aren’t heroes either.
Maybe I need to do a post on all the phony “heroes” of 2017. There were a lot of them.
Cole Hamels, however, is a real ethics hero. The 33-year-old Texas Ranger pitcher and his wife Heidi are donating their 32,000-square-foot mansion and 100 acres of land in southwest Missouri to Camp Barnabas, a charity that provides camps for children with special needs and chronic illnesses. The Hamels’ gift is valued at $9,418,400.
In the statement, the athlete said that he became committed to the mission of Camp Barnabas as he learned about the charity. “Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it,” he said. “Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.”
Pro athletes make astounding amounts of money. I don’t begrudge them that, nor is there any ethical requirement that they spend it, use it or give it away according to anyone’s needs or values but their own. Still, Hamels has made about $150 million dollars in his baseball career so far, and is guaranteed another 40 million or so before 2020….and he’s not even one of the top earners in the sport. It is stunning how unusual this kind of gesture is in Hamels’ field.
Maybe he will inspire some of his colleagues. Like Hamels, they could do a lot of good, and still be able to buy their mansions, yachts, and 5000 suits.
Source: New York Daily News