Athletes who merit celebrating
Christopher Clarey International Herald Tribune
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2005
BOSTON The turkey is ready for the oven; the table is set and full of possibilities; the family has gathered from different time zones, and it is difficult, even for a scandal-weary sportswriter, to avoid feeling good about human nature.
Meanwhile, men like Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, David Beckham, Tiger Woods and Zinédine Zidane continued their longstanding charity work, with Agassi sometimes giving the impression that, at 35, he was playing tennis beyond the usual retirement age in large part because he wanted to use his continuing success to help the foundation and the academy that educates at-risk youth in his name in his native Las Vegas.
Agassi's foundation, which now routinely donates $10 million or more per year to children's causes, has been the most productive of any linked to an active athlete. One of the reasons he said he left his long-term sponsor Nike and signed a contract with its competitor Adidas was because Adidas was more willing to commit considerable resources to the foundation.
"Nike and I reached terms on all my stuff with no problem," Agassi said in August. "It's been a relationship for a lot of years that has been good. But, you know, I'm at a great place in my life. I
Worthy not just of time and disposable income, but of admiration.
don't have to worry about me anymore. That's a luxury that most people don't have that I'm well aware of. But I do have to worry about my foundation, I do have to worry about people I look out after."
"And you know, they make shoes and that's what they do," he said of Nike.
Andre Agassi forever