As the political landscape gets more heated, several people turn to sports to get away from the stresses of politics. Now though, it seems that politics has infiltrated that arena as well. Whether it is through protest on police brutality, feelings over the president, or some other stance on issue politics, sports professionals and teams have begun to voice their opinion. When it comes to sport professional opinions about abortion there are four athletes who have been vocal about their pro-life position. First up, Matt Birk.
Matt Birk most recently played for the Ravens as an offensive lineman. He won the Super Bowl with the Eagles and retired afterward. To congratulate the team on winning the super bowl, President Barrak Obama invited them to the white house. Birk respectfully declined the meeting because he did not agree with President Obama’s position on Planned Parenthood. When asked about it Birk said,
“I’m very confused by (Obama’s) statement. For God to bless a place where they’re ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend.” He has since been very vocal in his support for the National March for Life, evening speaking at the 2016 march.
Sal played for the Oakland A’s from 1966 to 1976 and the Milwaukee Brewers from 1977 until his retirement in 1981. It wasn’t until after his baseball career was over that Bando began to fundraise for the pro-life cause. He, along with other former and current players and coaches, endorsed the Battin’ 1000 campaign. The goal was to raise funds to create a baseball-themed fundraiser to draw more attention to the American Life League. The American Life League’s plan was to build a pro-life educational center in Virginia that would offer media-training, bioethics workshops and other resources. Bando helped draw in several endorsements, and eventually became the chair of the program. “What most of us see are the liberal media and celebrities standing out on this issue,” Bando said. “It’s time for those of us who are the silent majority to say,’ Hey, we’re pro-life!”
Tim Tebow is an obvious pick because what’s not to love about this guy. He is a polite, hardworking, down to earth guy who helps others as much as possible. After health complications abroad, Tim’s mom was advised to abort her baby, Tim’s parents refused to abort. From that moment, Tim has strived to live a modest, yet giving life. Tebow has been dedicated to building churches in foreign countries, just one example of his commitment to give to others. In 2010, Tim Tebow and his mother Pam Tebow ran a 30 sec Super Bowl Commercial explaining his birth. The add explained the complications and the incredible joy they both shared because of her choice to not abort Tim. Tim Tebow has always received hate based on his beliefs in Jesus and abortion issues. The criticism towards Tebow came forward in an interview with Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer when he said, “I wish he would just shut up about it.” The ad was described by several people from CBS reporters to sports fans alike calling it a “divisive ad” that is ruining the big game. Tim responded perfectly to their hate by saying, “I know some people won’t agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe.”
Stephens is a Special Olympics athlete who fights for equal treatment for people with special needs, specifically Down syndrome. He criticised Ann Coulter after she ridiculed Obama following his second presidential debate with Mitt Romney. He made his way on this list after his speech at the UN regarding selective abortions targeting babies with Down syndrome. In his speech, Stephens asked, “How would the world react if a nation proclaimed that it would use genomic testing to make itself ‘Unpopular ethnic minority free’ by 2030?” Stephens hypothetical is not totally untrue, and his point was to shed light on the population control happening in Iceland. In Iceland, 100% of the babies who are pre-diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.
In a nation divided by politics, businessmen need to remember to stay neutral politically so they can sell their product to a larger group of people. Professional Athletes are no exception to this. That is why it is remarkable that these four men are willing to take the heat and voice their opinion and stand up for life.
The day before Mother’s Day, The Oregonian posted, unsurprisingly, an article on motherhood. What was surprising was it’s discussion of death in relation to mothers and their children with Tarvez Tucker, a doctor in the neuroscience intensive care unit at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.
The article began with a candid statement by the journalist, Tom Hallman Jr: “If we’re honest, many children see Mother’s Day as an obligation. Rarely do we reflect on what a mother’s love means. Nor do we acknowledge the truth that in time it will be just another Sunday in May.”
This reflection was prompted by Dr. Tucker’s writings on the deaths of some mothers she has seen in the ICU. One story describes a mother fatally shot on a stormy night, asking the nurse to take care of her four-year old son who was afraid of thunderstorms. Another describes a mother with cancer refusing exhaustive, experimental treatment that would only give her two more months to go home to dye eggs with her five young children.
Hallman states that Tucker’s reflections resulted in her belief that “the most profound expressions of love are the ones between mother and child. Hallman notes that this love is not greater than that of the father’s, but it is different since the mother carries the baby within herself, resulting in a unique intimacy that is at the root of motherhood. The moment the child is born, the mother must introduce her child into the world, “and so begins a lifetime of letting go” that ends with the hope that the mother can die with her children by her side, able to continue her work of carrying the world forward.
He ended the article by including Dr. Tucker’s thoughts on her own gift of motherhood to her four sons, stating that her sons “think she’s too sentimental, calling her mushy when she tries to explain the depth of love for the babies who grew into the men who one day will be by her beside when her time comes.” But she does want to leave them a message on her deathbed since “in those last moments, I hear how people love each other.”
Read more of Dr. Tucker’s stories in the original article on The Oregonian.
Oregon is known for its ways of making ordinary actions completely unique in a way only the hipster philosophy can achieve. Multiple of these oddities have included goats in the past, including goat yoga, and a new one can be added to this list: Goat Caddies.
This new form of golf resides in Seneca, Oregon on the Silvies Valley Ranch, which is a goat and cattle farm that includes a spa and three golf courses. The owner of the ranch, Tygh Campbell, birthed the idea, and his co-founder, Akbar Chisti, in an interview with the Oregonian, explained how they made this idea a reality.
Creating the golf bags specifically designed for the goats was a difficulty since “golf bags aren’t made to go on goats,” but trial-and-error eventually lead to a successful bag that not only included space for the clubs but also a six-pack of beer and a bag of peanuts for the goat.
As of now, they have trained four goats to act as caddies and plan on training more in the future. The McVeigh’s Gauntlet Course will open on July 10th to the public interested in golfing with goat caddies.
But this May, she started a new initiative, just in time for Mother’s Day, that encouraged patients, doctors, and all who have experienced the power of medicine to share their life-giving stories on Twitter with the hashtag #ShareAStoryInOneTweet.
Choo’s original tweet, in 154 characters, described a patient who had been clinically dead for twenty minutes before being revived by Choo and her staff. She stated he still called her every year on the anniversary of saving his life, and it is now the ten-year anniversary.
Esther Choo’s #ShareAStoryInOneTweet
Hundreds responded to her challenge with incredible stories that would make any reader laugh, weep, and smile at their heartwarming experiences. The stories included the heavy impact of death on patients and doctors, miracles, dedication and perseverance, and hope for all.
Tweet in response to Esther Choo
See The Oregonian’s article for more responses to Choo’s Twitter Challenge.
Five years ago, Atticus Lane-Dupre led his soccer team to a 10-9 defeat of the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field. Many professional players would consider winning against the Timbers, who took home the 2015 MLS Cup title, a significant achievement.
Lane-Dupre, however, wasn’t a pro soccer star at the time of his victory. He wasn’t even eligible for a driver’s license. In fact, he was only eight years old–albeit an eight-year-old with exceptional bravery and talent.
In late 2011, doctors diagnosed Lane-Dupre with kidney cancer. During treatment, he wished that his youth soccer team, the Green Machine, could play a game against the Timbers. Lane-Dupre’s dream became a reality thanks to Make-A-Wish Oregon, who partnered with the Timbers to arrange a match.
For Lane-Dupre, the game wasn’t a farewell to soccer, but rather a celebration of his recovery. On game day, May 1, 2013, his doctors had declared Lane-Dupre to be in remission after rounds of surgery and chemotherapy.
“The game occurred just when he was really getting better,” explained Bert Dupre, Lane-Dupre’s father. “So, that was an awesome celebration. He was done with chemo, he was feeling better and the whole city celebrated with us.”
3,000 fans showed up to cheer Lane-Dupre at Jeld-Wen Stadium as his team walked shoulder-to-shoulder with the Timbers onto the field. Lane-Dupre ultimately contributed four goals to the Green Machine’s effort, including the tiebreaker at the end of the match.
Now a 13-year-old middle school student at Mt. Tabor, Lane-Dupre still cherishes memories from his experience with the Timbers. “I remember the morning,” Lane-Dupre told The Oregonian. “All my friends, we were out on the blacktop before school and then the limo pulled up and we all just ran over and were really excited. The rest of the day is kind of a blur.”
The Timbers have continued to remain in contact with Lane-Dupre. In 2015, the club paid for Lane-Dupre and his family to attend the MLS Cup title match in Columbus, Ohio. The Timbers won the game to claim their first MLS Cup title. “That was really fun,” Lane-Dupre recalls. “We got to stay at the same hotel as the players. . . . I would go down and get hot chocolate and I would say hi to the players.”
“We just feel so embraced by the Timbers and the Timbers Army,” added Jennifer Lane, Lane-Dupre’s mom.
Comparatively few teenagers have the vision to establish a nonprofit organization. Few others have the logistical know-how to coordinate a public event with local businesses and news media.
But 16-year-old Malcolm Asher and 14-year-old Irie Page, both of Portland, Oregon, are not average teenagers. Last Sunday, the pair received national honors in Washington, D.C., for exceptional service to their communities. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, established by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), judged Malcolm and Irie to be Oregon’s most committed high school and middle school volunteers.
The teens enjoyed a dinner reception at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and accepted $1,000 awards from Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn, who commended them for their service.
Both young adults earned their accolades for demonstrating “leadership and determination well beyond their years,” according to John Strangfeld, CEO of Prudential Financial. “[It’s] a privilege to celebrate their service,” he said.
Malcolm, a junior at Cleveland High School, established a not-for-profit foundation which helps hospitalized children all over the world create and share artwork with their peers. Malcolm volunteered at a children’s hospital in Portland and witnessed how drawing and painting helped young patients overcome the anxiety associated with a hospital stay. “I could plainly see what a lift this provided to kids who were feeling anxious and scared,” he told KATU news.
This experience motivated Malcolm to found ArtPass, which distributes art kits to hospitalized youth. The organization operates in 11 countries worldwide and encourages young people in developing nations to seek medical care, rather than delay treatment due to anxiety about a hospital stay.
Meanwhile, Irie hosted a nationally recognized author and educator at a free public event designed to inform teens about safe dating practices. Irie raised funds for the author’s speaking fee by establishing a GoFundMe account and securing sponsorships from local businesses. Portland State University provided a recital hall for the event, and local news media publicized the occasion.
As a result of Irie’s efforts, about 500 teens and their parents came to the program, prompting the author to waive his speaking fee. Irie subsequently offered the funds to local organizations which strive to eliminate sexual violence.
In summing up the awards ceremony at the Smithsonian, NASSP president Daniel P. Kelley told attendees that teens like Malcolm and Irie show that “one student really can make a difference. We are honored to shine a spotlight on the compassion, drive, and ingenuity of each of these young volunteers.”