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Larkin’s generosity example for others

Finding good news about professional athletes these days can be a real chore.

Tuesday, August 03, 1999

Finding good news about professional athletes these days can be a real chore. Most of what you read in the newspapers centers around drug addiction, temper tantrums and assault and battery.

But, recently, there was some good news close to home.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin heard that there were people in Cincinnati suffering because of the extreme heat over the past few days.

His wife, Lisa, also a Cincinnati native, called him. He was on the road.

Worrying about his hometown, Larkin authorized the purchase of about 100 air conditioners to be distributed to the needy in the city.

You probably haven’t heard about Larkin’s good deed. That is not his style. He does his charity work for the good of his community – not for public relations.

And he is a first-class athlete to boot.

Barry Larkin – and the others like him – are examples of what professional athletes, who make their living from the public, should be.

Professional athletes today spend a lot of time talking about how they should not have to be role models. They are hired to play the game, not interact with the public, they argue.

What they don’t seem to understand is that if there were no fans, there would be no game.

Larkin is a special addition to not only his team, but to Cincinnati. They are lucky to have him.

There are many who could learn a lot from his example – both athletes and non-athletes.