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With the world and Spain hit by the coronavirus, there are several sports heroes who are mobilizing, the last Pau Gasol and Rafa Nadal , when launching a subscription to reach the 11 million euro donation. Both understand that they must give back to society, now in need, how much it has given them. Many others did it before, in defense of the persecuted, in the face of dictatorships, by homeless immigrants or children without school, in favor of the disabled or sexual freedom. Ultimately, heroes who did not wait for a pandemic, a situation that places us all in front of ourselves, that questions us about how much we have to put on our part to defeat the common enemy.

Among those who have the most, are some of the richest athletes, although they did not choose to be social references. "It is true, but their wealth is largely due to having been born or having carried out their activity in prosperous societies like ours. If these athletes had been born in poor countries, the chances of becoming what they are would have been much less. So, for a simple reason of justice with that society that has allowed them to develop sports-professionally, it seems that they should contribute more than they already do, especially if that additional portion of solidarity does not represent a great economic sacrifice in terms They will not stop being rich, nor will they have problems making ends meet, "says José Luis Pérez Triviño , professor of Philosophy of Law at Pompeu Fabra University and an ethical sports specialist.

"It is what I understand as the chain of favors, corresponding to what they have offered you, and what Rafa and Pau say," adds Pérez Triviño. "Many of them seem to live in a bubble isolated from the daily concerns of fans," he continues, "unaware of the notable influence that their decisions and actions can have on society. Nor do they seem to realize that the interest of fans is not eternal, but may decrease if they observe that those figures they idolize do not meet the expectations they have placed on them. "

"On the contrary, gestures in favor of society humanize them, make them more idols, and generate a 'domino effect': if Nadal does it, I should also do it. They are acts that have a cohesive power in society", concludes this specialist in ethics, which refers to multiple ways to contribute to a better society, not necessarily related to money. It may be a gesture, a position against injustice, an initiative. The history of sport serves numerous examples.

Bartali Safe Passes

Gino Bartali (Italy, 1914), the champion who wanted to instrumentalize fascism, went to his grave with his secret, revealed after his death by his children. He had won two Giros (1936 and 1937) and one Tour (1938), before World War II interrupted his career. The runner had lived under tremendous pressure in Benito Mussolini's Italy to signify himself with the Duce regime. When the conflict broke out, Bartali was allowed to continue training, and he took advantage of it to bring false documentation, with which to escape from the country, to the Jews hidden in rural areas and Italian monasteries. He saved 800. No one could suspect that the legend was a key piece of an underground network. After the conflict, he won a Giro (1947) and a Tour (1948), but he never explained his feat, which came to light in 2003, three years after his death.

Max Schmeling.EFE

Schmeling and that night in Berlin

November 9, 1938 was one of the turning points of the Holocaust, as the first great pogrom against the Jews occurred. Max Schmeling (Germany, 1905), the great Aryan champion of the ring, called the concierge of the Excelsior Hotel in Berlin from his suite and said that they would not disturb him. He had sheltered two Jewish teenagers, Henry and Werner Lewin, whom he helped flee to the United States. I would do it with many more. A few months ago, he had lost his second match with Jose Louis , which he had won in 1936. Adolf Hitler exalted him and the boxer took advantage of his influence to intercede for many black athletes during the Berlin Olympics. The subsequent defeat, however, caused his favors to be withdrawn and he enlisted. He never let other Jews help and Louis himself, ruined. He paid for his funeral.

Robinson and Civil Rights

A decade before Rosa Park refused to give up her seat on the bus to a target, an episode that triggers the fight for Civil Rights, Jackie Robinson (United States, 1919) had already done so on the military baseball team during her brief passage through the army. He was licensed without honor. The brilliance in the Black Leagues led Dodgers manager Branch Rickey to make a risky decision, and on April 15, 1947, Robinson broke a racial barrier in the Major Leagues (MLB). He endured them throwing balls at his head, spitting catchers or throwing dead black cats at him. Nothing submitted his resistance until he became one of the historical players of the MLB and a benchmark of integration, to which, half a century after his death, his foundation is still dedicated.

Socrates' democracy

"People gave me power as a popular footballer. If people do not have the power to say things, then I will say them for them. In the declaration of Socrates (Brazil, 1954) it was possible to appreciate the debt that as an athlete he understood that he had to settle with the society in which he was recognized as an idol for his game on soccer fields. For this reason, in the São Paulo final in 1983, the Corinthians player appeared with a shirt that read: "Win or lose, but always in democracy." In addition to dazzling with an exalted generation, despite not winning the World Cup in Spain'82, he lashed out at the dictatorship of Joao Figueiredo in his death rattles, was a member of the Workers' Party and launched numerous initiatives to regain rights in politics. and in soccer, as the well-known 'Corinthian Democracy'.

Marc Gasol, in the Mediterranean

The son of doctors and linked to humanitarian organizations, in the same way that his brother Pau, promoter with Rafa Nadal of the sport campaign against the coronavirus, Marc Gasol (Barcelona, ​​1985) felt that he should do something after observing the tragedy of the Syrian immigrants a few years ago. He contacted the NGO Open Arms, whose members he invited to give talks at his children's basketball campus. Finally, he decided that he should do something else. He embarked on the Austral and participated in the rescue of a Cameroonian woman, in addition to other dead immigrants. The initiative of the NBA player helped to give visibility to the tragedy of the lost souls of the Mediterranean, one of the dramas of our time. In each interview, Marc remembers a fact that we cannot turn our back on.

LeBron James.AFP

LeBron's scholarships

When he was born, his mother was 16 years old and basketball saved him from the dark fate of many of the children growing up in Akron, Ohio. LeBron James (United States, 1984) has not forgotten, even after entering Olympus in the NBA. For this reason, he has become one of the greatest patrons of teaching in the United States. He has invested more than 40 million euros in scholarships for underprivileged children, preferably in his place of origin, Akron, with which he guarantees his studies from primary to university, provided that, step by step, they respond to his evaluation criteria . 1,100 students benefited from the oldest. He has also launched the I promise project, with which he has created a school for another 1,200 children. NGOs consider him the most charitable player in the NBA

Serena, against breast cancer

The seasoned appearance of Serena Williams (United States, 1981) does not only have to do with her tennis on the court. It also prints it to the causes that it considers just, to which it is delivered, if necessary, without clothes. This is what he did after joining the 'I touch myself' campaign and filming a topless video to sensitize women to the need for mom's cancer prevention. It is not the only initiative in which the tennis player has been involved. In addition to being a UNICEF ambassador, the youngest of the Williams sisters is one of the voices demanding the right of women around the world to be assisted at the time of giving birth. It has warned that 2,600 newborns die daily in the world due to lack of assistance to babies or mothers on the first day of life.

Kill: 1% for the Third World

Restless about what happens beyond the field of play, the footballer Juan Mata (Madrid, 1988) threw down the gauntlet to his guild, by launching an ambitious project named 'Common Goal', with which he intends to raise money to put it at the service of humanitarian organizations that, fundamentally, work in the most needy places of the Third World. The initiative devised by the Spanish is that soccer players and coaches, who form one of the best-paid groups in the world, donate 1% of their salary to the cause. Since its launch, more than a hundred professionals have joined, including some of recognized prestige, such as the Italian Chiellini or the German Hummels , in addition to the American Megan Rapione .

Juan MataEFE

Del Bosque and the disabled

The coach who made Spain world champion, who played for Madrid and who led him to win the Champions League as a coach, often says that his best years in football were not those, but those that he spent as manager of training, of the quarry. Father of a son with Down syndrome, the cause of football was joined by that of disability, which has focused part of the dedication of Vicente del Bosque (Salamanca, 1950), especially since his retirement. A large part of the benefits produced by the acts he attends, in Spain or abroad, are destined by the former Spanish coach to the Down Syndrome Madrid Foundation. It has also been linked to actions by NGOs such as UNICEF or UNHCR, such as sponsoring the Solidarity Will initiative in favor of refugees.

Rapinoe, whatever Trump says

He is a character Megan Rapinoe (United States, 1985), without fear of facing Donald Trump himself if he considers that the cause is just. The best player in the world publicly declared her homosexuality, in 2012, and her relationship with a professional basketball player, Sue Bird . Since then, his visibility has made him a gay icon and LGBTI rights activist. His activity in favor of social causes, however, is not limited to homosexuality. She is one of the players who has joined the Common Goal project started by Juan Mata. In 2016, he knelt when the anthem was playing before a national team game, in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick , the 49ers' quarterback, who had protested in the same way against racial violence and minority oppression.

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