The Real Athlete Blog


Category: Philanthropy

  1. Eco-athlete Ovie Mughelli empowers underprivileged youth through environmental activism

    by Matthew Allinson 06-01-2011 01:11 AM Athlete Interviews | Philanthropy

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    When it comes to protecting our environment, it’s easy for some people to turn their backs and simply caste this responsibility aside as someone else’s issue. To them, it’s just an afterthought. To Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, this cavalier mentality is at odds with his most fundamental beliefs regarding the environment.
    “If you’ve played any type of sport, especially football, you know you can never wait for the other man to make a play,” Mughelli told me. “You can’t sit on the sidelines and be like ‘I’m going down on the kickoff or punt team, and someone else will make the tackle. Or, it’s the 4th quarter of the game, and I don’t have to worry about making a play; somebody else will do it.’”
    Mughelli, a staunch environmental activist, points out that those who espouse this mentality will never win a game in their life. Unfortunately, he laments, this is the mentality that we’ve adopted as human beings to save our planet.
    “The tree huggers or the quote-unquote hippie[s], they’ll take care of it. Or, some ‘brainiac’ will solve it. That’s not going to happen. It’s all about doing our part. It’s not rocket science at all. It’s all simple stuff that can be done, just by taking an interest in your fellow human beings.”
    Mughelli isn’t the type of a person who is going to sit around idly and wait for others to step up. He’s not only doing his part, but he has been imparting on others the importance of them doing their part too.
    Through the Ovie Mughelli Foundation (OMF), Mughelli has put a masterful game plan in place to make his mark on the environment and in the community.



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  2. Changing Lives, The So Cal Falcons Way

    by Allison Collinger 02-16-2011 12:22 AM Philanthropy | Athlete Career Development | Camps | Coaching | Education | Human Relations

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    The influence of the National Football League and football reach across our country and our world. One doesn’t need to live in an NFL market to see the positive influence that the sport of football can have on the character of our youth. Before Super Bowl XLV, I caught up with Keith Johnson, President of the Southern California Falcons (The So Cal Falcons), a Pop Warner League, to learn about the organization, its mission, its efforts, and its progress. Despite Los Angeles not having an NFL team (a little bit of irony for me since I helped to relocate the Rams from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995), The So Cal Falcons are a beacon of light in a tough part of the city.

    In the spring of 2005, Keith Johnson, a speaker and trainer, joined forces with the entertainer Snoop Dogg, and together they created the Southern California Falcons in the Snoop Youth Football League. Their initial goal was to offer an affordable youth football league for children in Los Angeles’ inner city.


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  3. The Insightful Player: Tony Richardson and Jerricho Cotchery

    by Chrissy Carew 12-24-2010 04:25 PM Athlete Interviews | Philanthropy | Family Life | Human Relations | Insightful Player

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    The New York Times recently published a very touching story by reporter Greg Bishop about the beautiful bond between Tony Richardson, New York Jets fullback, and Tyler Nelson, a 16-year-old from Texas who is awaiting a multiple organ transplant.

    Tony and Tyler met in Tampa, Florida in February 2009 through the Make a Wish Foundation and bonded instantly. The friendship between the professional football player and the ailing teen with cystic fibrosis blossomed in the months that followed, and the two have shared hours of conversation as well as visits, phone calls and text messages. While Tony admires the boy’s courage and stamina, young Tyler is flourishing under the nurturing attention of the sports star and his colleagues.

    Those who have followed Tony’s career prior to this will probably not be surprised by the poignant story. A wonderful role model, he has dedicated much of his free time helping others throughout his 16 years in the NFL.


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  4. Bunkers In Baghdad - Leveraging Sports to Help Our Troops

    by Allison Collinger 04-14-2010 12:08 AM Philanthropy

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    The Bunkers in Baghdad organization is bringing golf to our troops in the U.S. and Abroad!


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  5. SPORTS, LIFE AND BUSINESS: And Why the New Orleans Saints Matter

    by Wesley Mallette 02-04-2010 11:36 PM Philanthropy | Human Relations

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    The lessons learned through sport give us perspective and teach us how to handle adversity.


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  6. Haiti Tragedy Reveals True Purpose of Sports

    by Jason Krump 01-23-2010 11:50 PM Philanthropy

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    There’s no doubt that what happens on the field or court has minuscule importance when compared to the tragedy unfolding in Haiti. But when a calamity of this scope takes place, it reveals the true purpose of sports.


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  7. Winning On and Off the Field - Kurt Warner’s First Things First

    by Allison Collinger 01-12-2010 05:17 PM Philanthropy | Public Relations | Trusted Athlete Educator | Athlete Career Development | Image Branding

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    As Arizona heads to New Orleans this week for the next round of the NFL playoffs, we caught up with Marci Pritts, the long-time Executive Director of Kurt Warner’s Foundation, First Things First, to get her perspective on athlete philanthropy.


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  8. Athletes - Tips on How to Leverage Your Team Resources

    by Allison Collinger 12-03-2009 01:19 AM Philanthropy | Public Relations | Image Branding

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    Rams VP Gives Top Tips for Working with Team Community Relations Department to Maximize Your Charitable Efforts and Image -- It's a Win-Win!


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  9. Pitfalls Facing NBA Player Charities

    by Sal Sanchez 11-16-2009 12:05 AM Philanthropy | Trusted Athlete Educator | Legal

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    The lesson from this is do not rush into setting up a foundation without first doing your research, having a team of capable professionals in place, and making sure that all the rules are being followed and the entity is properly funded. But most importantly, if you are going to start your own foundation, find a cause that you are passionate about so that you will be driven to make a difference.


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  10. It Starts With Passion

    by Allison Collinger 10-09-2009 12:08 AM Philanthropy | Trusted Athlete Educator

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    You can make a tremendous difference by focusing on one cause where you have passion - stick to it and make a difference!


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