Freeman Cebu Sports


WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde - The Freeman

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did not hesitate to sell some of his championship rings, MVP trophies and other memorabilia that fetched 2.8 million dollars to educate the youth. Whether to keep them or give kids a platform to better their lives is a no-brainer for the hall of famer. He did it in a heartbeat, for kids who still have so much to live for, his trophies merely attest to what he did great before.

The Lakers scoring machine does not need inanimate pieces to prove his greatness. He is immortalized in basketball supremacy best remembered for his trademark skyhook shot. Neither did he mind losing his scoring record to LeBron James recently. Records are not only about the numbers. They are more about the holders.

Boris Becker too had to sell his tennis trophies, not for charity but to bail him out of bankruptcy. Later the iconic German was jailed for concealing assets to defraud his creditors. Why the tennis great became insolvent is another curious case of how celebrity athletes mishandle fame and fortune. The Bad Boy from Dadiangas had rags to riches to drugs misery, as opposed to his fellow southpaw Manny Pacquiao who inspires with rags to riches to glitches journey.

Formerly known as Lew Alcindor, the NBA legend converted to Islam and lived up to the name he picked. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar translates into noble, powerful servant. It’s not the name but the heart though. Senegalese football star Sadio Mane refuses a lavish lifestyle he can afford to provide essentials for those who cannot afford.

Or, the vow of poverty of Mother Teresa who lived a life of almost nothing to share something with others deprived of almost everything, unlike most of us who are unwilling to sacrifice luxury for the convenience of others, or convenience for the survival of others.

And, as opposed to some religious leaders who enrich themselves at the expense of their blind followers who part their hard earned money for the promised life of eternity. Tithe, even if budget is tight, while probably no church or religious sect publicly accounts for its collection. In fact, they are exempted from taxation.

Among other reasons, some believers give to increase their chances to enter the gates of heaven. Will those who have nothing to give burn in hell then? They may be unable to tell the difference. Living with nothing is already hell. Even worse. They see others living heaven on earth by lying, cheating and stealing.

Unfortunately, kindness is not enough, especially if it comes from volunteers who can only do so much, unless they institutionalize charity that does not solve poverty. It merely spares the elected from their bounden duty to free their constituency from misery. But where the duty bound benefit from and protect the system that maintains disparity, never expect parity.

Muhammad Ali and Pelé, probably the greatest in their sports, but certainly greater in life, were not content with charity, which is sometimes for display. They fought hard for equality, which is the ultimate philanthropy.


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