Jun 14, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora (72) during the Giants minicamp at their training facility. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Here's some happy news to brighten your day: Several NFL players run shame charities that are primarily designed to "donate" money to their family members.
Yeah. Makes me feel great to be an NFL fan.
If you're like me, you are fascinated by Deadspin's ongoing series written by an anonymous PR rep, detailing all the crazy, obnoxious, and often seedy tasks he had to do at the request of his now-former client, an equally anonymous professional athlete.
One of the more interesting revelations in the series was this:
"He had a charity, too, which was simply a front to pay his family members (as most athlete charities are)."
That's a pretty bold statement. If most athlete charities are, effectively, fronts that provide funds to their family members, that's something that we silly, basement dwelling bloggers call news. I'm not saying it is one, but if you found out that the PeyBack Foundation was really something that mostly lined the pockets of Archie and Olivia Manning, I'm willing to bet that your opinions of their middle son would change, slightly.
According to the Post, Jets tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson runs a foundation that pays his mother nearly $90,000 a year, more than twice what it gives out in charitable donations. CC Sabathia's charity had to take out a $32,000 loan to buy a truck. The Post says Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin's charity funnels donations through a for-profit company. And the charity to which Osi Umenyiora refers, well, it doesn't exist anymore.
Umenyiora's charity, per the Post article:
The Web site for Giant defensive end Osi Umenyiora promotes his "Strike 4 A Cure" foundation, describing it as a nonprofit devoted to finding cures for AIDS and Alzheimer’s. Yet the charity has been defunct for years.
It's worth noting that Umenyiora signed a restructured contract back on June 1st. Prior to re-signing, he had one year remaining, paying him $3.9 million for 2012.
Now, are all these charities criminal? No, it doesn't seem so. However, I'll just say that I won't be making any plans anytime soon to donate to the charities of anyone playing for the NY Jets, NY Giants, or the NY Yankees. Also, as Deadspin notes, if you're the kind of person who donates money to an Aaron Maybin charity, you might be a sucker.
Anyway, the NY Post and Deadspin write-ups got me thinking (because I'm bored and there's nothing going on): Do any Colts players run sketchy charities like the two named Jets players do? If you know of one who does, drop us a line or send a little note to Deadspin. Again, these are charities set-up by the players, not necessarily established charities that use well-known players as spokespeople, like the United Way.