Most kids grow up idolizing professional athletes. They go to sporting events and watch in awe as they perform staggering feats of athleticism.
As time goes on you begin to realize that most athletes are flawed, just like anybody else. It seems like every week there’s an athlete in the headlines for the wrong reason. However, let’s also realize that while there’s plenty of bad examples of off-the-field behavior (ever heard of a guy named Tiger?), there’s also the flip side: athletes acting in ways that are by definition, heroic.
Just this past week, former Arizona Diamondbacks’ World Series hero, Luis Gonzalez, saved a woman from a burning car. Gonzalez witnessed a head-on collision while driving at which point he and his friend jumped out of their car to assist the 82-year old.
— Artie (@artcuffari) June 3, 2017
In a video obtained by TMZ Sports Gonzalez described the events, saying, “I didn’t know if the car was going to blow or anything like that, so I was in a panic also but trying to stay calm getting her out of the car at the same time.”
Gonzales said he just “reacted when it happened,” but I’m not so sure everybody would do the same.
Other Examples of Athletes Acting Heroically
Washington State football player Grant Porter proved in May that college athletes can be heroes too. He and a friend were driving near Porter’s apartment early one morning when they saw a man standing on a chair underneath a basketball hoop. Seeing that the man had a strap around his neck tied to the hoop, Porter and his friend talked to the man and eventually called the police.
— NCAA Football (@NCAAFootball) May 15, 2017
Porter talked about the encounter with KREM2-TV, saying, “I’m the type of person that just wants to help everybody because if I was in a situation like that I would want someone to help me out.”
This next story of heroism is a little different. NFL player Konrad Reuland died in December at age 29 due to an aneurysm that ruptured behind his left eye leaving him brain dead. However, he’s now saving a man’s life thanks to a heart and kidney transplant.
It’s not just any man, either. Hall of Fame baseball player & 1977 American League MVP Rod Carew received Reuland’s heart and a kidney. Carew suffered a massive heart attack in 2015 leaving him needing a transplant. The two professional athletes ended up being an out-of-the-blue match.
"My friend upstairs took care of me."
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) June 2, 2017
The Reuland family eventually met up with the Carew’s and Konrad’s mother, Mary, and listened to Carew’s heartbeat through a stethoscope. “It was comforting in a way to hear that again, knowing that part of Konrad is still here,” Mary told the LA Times. “I didn’t know until this happened that every heartbeat, like a fingerprint, is unique. It was definitely Konrad’s heart in there.”
A short time later, Carew would stand and watch as Ralf Reuland, Konrad’s father, threw out the first pitch at an Angels’ game.
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) April 26, 2017
Konrad Reuland may not be with us, but he’s still a hero through and through.