Professional Athletes

I have a question for all of you out there in the blogosphere: Do professional athletes have a responsibility towards their fans to help them during hard times?

I don’t know if I know the answer to this question.  Or even if there is a “right” answer to this question.  But I do know that when professional athletes help out their fans that might be going through a hard time, it is especially touching and heart warming.

I can think of two examples.  Both have to do with hockey teams.  One has to do with a professional team that has moved.  One has to do with my alma mater’s team.

The first, the professional, AHL hockey team is especially heart warming and makes me smile.  The story is that of an AHL team that moved from Albany, NY to Charlotte, NC.  One of it’s most loyal fans is an extremely sick, young boy.  The family decided that it was going to move to Charlotte.  Their reasons were not just because the hockey team had moved, but also because Charlotte had better resources for their son.  However, the hockey team had a fundraiser, and raised $20,000 to help this family move.

I think that it is so fantastic of them.  Is it something that every team needs to do?  No.  Is it something that people like me take notice of?  Yes.  It makes me fall in love with the sport of hockey and the men that play it all over again.

So, my alma mater also has a touching story that they recently did.  There was a local girl who became a part of the team because of a last wish.  She has gone back and forth with her illness and recently passed away.  The Purple Eagles gave this girl a stall and unveiled a banner honoring her.  I find this incredibly touching because they were able to honor this girl and her memory.  To make her last for a while longer.

It’s heart warming.  And I’ve known many guys on the team, but I never saw this side of them or the team.  And it’s nice to see this.  For them to get good publicity.  For them to show their strength of character.

Here are links to the two articles:

So, does this mean that professional athletes have a responsibility to help their ailing fans?  I think that if they can, they should.  But I think that just be doing the things that they do on an almost daily basis, they do.   By signing autographs and talking to fans, they make people’s days.  And they help people survive.

What do you think?  Do professional athletes have a responsibility to their fans during hard times?  Does the same hold true of other celebrities (i.e. musicians, actors/actresses, etc.)?

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