I would like the world to recognize Chelsea FC star striker Didier Drogba (Didier Yves Drogba Tébily).
Your first thought is likely a mental image of his recent successes; scoring the game-tying and game winning goal in this year’s champions league final against Bayern Munich. He is oft-considered amongst the best strikers of the decade, with good reason. But for me, what makes Drogba special, and this is coming from a United fan, is Didier’s humanitarian efforts. He is a class-act as a man, and that trumps the fact that he is a football legend.
Weeks before the World Cup 2006 in Germany, his native Ivory Coast was in a state of upheaval as civil war spread throughout his homeland. Using his star power, Drogba announced that he would not compete in the tournament unless the fighting would stop. Quite a bold move when you consider the violence, and how he might just have put himself in the crosshairs. The citizens of Ivory Coast responded to his request and put down their weapons. Quite literally, he had the star power to make a difference, and did just that, saving countless lives along the way. We will never know how many generations in Cote D’Ivoire owe their lives to Didier Drogba.
This week Drogba was at it again. Pepsi endorsed him $3 million USD for his MVP role in helping Chelsea FC to a Champions League title. Drogba had plans for the money, but they weren’t to buy a car or fund the purchase of a yacht or some other high-falutent purchase. Rather, on the same day he received the money, he donated it, all $3 million, to help build a badly-needed hospital in his hometown of Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
These selfless acts prove his character. He truly believes in helping others. In the world today, I believe athletes in major sports are making way too much money, and as a result, I think it becomes increasingly important that they give back to their community. I wish more athletes, celebrities and CEO’s would give back to the community like Drogba has done, whether that is through financial contributions as Drogba has done, or by acting as role models for our children. If they did, the world would be a better place.
Kudos, Didier Drogba, you are a truly classy man.
… and thats the last word.