Friday, February 01, 2013

Glimmers of Light

I have been regularly grumpy about the disturbing immorality of far too many pro athletes and the perplexing choice our culture makes to virtually idolize many of them. Just the other day we heard more revelations of some of baseball's stars cheating with performance enhancing drugs.

Still, there are glimmers of light, a reminder that rich guys playing games can be decent human beings and actually make a difference in the world.

One of those individuals is R.A. Dickey, one of the newest Toronto Blue Jays. Last year's NL Cy Young Award winner Dickey will make an obscene amount of money, but not an obscene, obscene amount -- did you realize there is a difference?

Dickey is interesting because he is educated and thoughtful and pleasantly self-deprecating. He has overcome  childhood abuse as well as other adversity and he has written a book about it.

Recently he went to India as part of his support for a project to help young women caught in the sex trade. According to the Toronto Star:

After witnessing first hand the plight of women and girls forced into India’s sex trade in the slums of Mumbai, Dickey says he found desperation and darkness, but also hope.
“The hope really lies in that paradigm where you walk among them,” he said. “You walk among them and build relationships.” The Blue Jays' 38-year-old knuckleballer spoke Tuesday from Mumbai, where he has spent the last week working with Bombay Teen Challenge, a Christian charity that fights child sex trafficking in India.“There are the lives that just don’t have a voice,” he said. “. . . What we’re trying to do here is give them a voice and a hope.”

Last year Dickey raised more than $100,000 for the project, money which was used to finance a new medical clinic.

My thought is that even if he is a bust as a Jays pitcher (let's pray he won't be!) he is an impressive human being, attempting to live out his Christian faith with justice. Now here is a role model.

Any thoughts?

Read about dogs as pastors on today's Groundling blog. It's only a click away!


IanD said...

Impressive, for sure.

I think part of the problem with many of these athletes is the media tilt toward sensationalism. The Dickey story - while worthy - isn't the kind of sleazy cover-up that the steroid era dudes or Lance Armstrong are embroiled in. It therefore doesn't sell or captivate in the same morbidly fascinating, train-wreck-unfurling kind of way.

roger said...

We need to hear about more athletes doing this kind of thing. I'm sure they're out there somewhere.

sjd said...

Good for him.

I've seen him on TV, and thought he is different. I'm glad he has a social concience.

2 other pro athletes to look up to. This is coming from an Expos fan. The late Gary Carter. He was always open about his beliefs.
Tim Burke. Once he made enough money in baseball he retired early, and has adopted and raised special needs children from all over the world.