So I was on the phone with a recruiter today (losing my job again...big surprise), and she mentioned she was in the Charlotte area. So as it happens every time I talk to someone from the Carolinas, I ask if she is a Panthers fan. She says kinda, but she wishes they would play better. She's not exactly a die hard.
Then she mentions her son goes to school with Steve Smith's kids. They go to the same private Christian school. Then she mentions what an amazing guy Steve Smith is; that he has donated an incredible amount of money to the school. Lots of the Private Christian Schools in the area have gone out of business since the recession, but this one has been able to stay open, largely because of Steve's contributions. She said that so far Steve has donated:
- A state-of-the-art playground
- 6 modular classrooms to hold all the new students coming from the now closed schools
- And he individually financed a new, state-of-the-art science lab for the school
Now I know often is the time we have these discussions about athletes being unfairly labeled as thugs. But damn! And maybe because I'm not in the market, but I've never heard of this at all.
Now I know Steve has had what some people called a checkered past. He's gotten in some fights, and with teammates, but I think he's just a fiery, pugnacious athlete with little-man complex, and I told her as much. And off the field I think he's a completely different person than ESPN likes to paint him. She agreed, and said he truly is one of the nicest people she has ever met.
The next person I hear call him a thug when I'm around gets an earful.