Tuesday, June 30, 2015

An Open Letter to the NFL and FIFA

Many people around the globe rely on football to provide them with an entertaining distraction from otherwise mundane and less than satisfactory lives. Yet in recent years both the NFL and FIFA have been another disappointment for citizens worldwide with the many controversies surrounding players, hosting cities, and organizations. The scandal surrounding FIFA officials and Sepp Blatter is another example in which the morals and ethics implied by the phrase "sportsman-like conduct" appear to have been forgotten.

The NFL and FIFA could use some positive PR, so here is an idea given to you free of charge. It involves each team taking a year off and instead of televising games, televise your teams and players planning and building housing and businesses for the homeless, recently unemployed, and recently released to give them a good chance at life and a real chance at regaining dignity and integrity. 

A very good "how to" example that offers guidance and advice is The Greystone Institute in New York, the building of which is described in the book Instructions to the Cook by Bernard Glassman and Rick Fields. Ideally when finished, the environment should provide: 1) Housing; 2) Employment with on-site training; 3) Health care and day care; 4) Opportunity for study; 5) Some form of spirituality or non-denominational interfaith sharing; 6) Opportunities for social action and community building.

Your organizations and teams have the necessary connections and resources. The necessary steps in the process and any difficulties encountered would give your players the business expertise they'll benefit from when they retire and give them the chance to give back to the neighborhoods and communities they grew up in by setting a good example. Not only your players, all those watching worldwide, would benefit. Televise the efforts of your players and the businesses involved in the planning and construction. (Please don't prey on those who have fallen on difficult times at least not until they've become success stories.) Let the Super Bowl and World Cup wins next season go to the teams with the best design, business concept and finished building in real life.

In these troubled economic times, when our countries and governments are offering more spectacle than solution, dare to set an example of good that will stay on the record books of your organizations and our shared history for all time.

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