When these athletes are earning their money being some of the best sports people in the world they often leave their manners at home. In sport, it’s all about winning, and if you come second, you might as well come last. These pro athletes prove that while they get things done on the field, they are super nice when they aren’t competing.
When you’re a big guy in the NBA, you’re pretty much a target for anyone and everyone to attack. Big Shaq never backed down from confrontation on the court, and often he was the one who started it, but away from basketball he is super friendly.
Shaq always has a smile on his face and is one of the most loveable giants the world has ever seen. Despite him playing for six different teams in the NBA nobody thinks of him as a traitor or glory hunter because he’s just so likable.
You might remember gymnast McKayla Maroney for the sulking face she pulled while competing for Team USA at the Olympics. Despite that image, she is actually a really nice person. She had to overcome a lot of criticism for the face she pulled, but she takes it all in her stride and even poses with a grumpy look for fans. Maroney has since retired from gymnastics but still enjoys the attention she gets from adoring fans.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, it devastated the city and surrounding areas. One man who did everything possible to help out was New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The Super Bowl-winning QB set up a charity alongside his wife to help rebuild many recreation parks and sports facilities destroyed in the wreckage. There is a reason why the New Orleans faithful call their quarterback “Breesus.”
Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long took time out of his busy schedule to help a young boy who was being bullied. The boy’s father reached out to Long, and he offered to step in to try and make a difference after switching schools didn’t help the kid. He offered to ride the bus with the boy and even turned up to a family birthday party as the kid’s struggles reminded him of difficulties when he was young.
Soccer goalie Chris Seitz, along with his entire Real Salt Lake team agreed to become bone marrow donors after their teammate Andy Williams’ wife was battle leukemia. Four years later, Seitz matched with a woman in a critical condition.
If he agreed to the procedure of donating his bone marrow, he would miss time with his team, but the player wanted to do it. His team agreed, and Seitz underwent the procedure, missing the rest of the 2012 season but it was worth it to give someone else a chance at living.
Just because an athlete looks big and tough while they are competing doesn’t mean they don’t have big hearts. These athletes really stand out for the generous things they do with their own precious free time.