If there’s anything to be said about hockey players, it’s that many National Hockey Leaguers are very charitable.
They give a lot of time and money to various charitable causes. They’ve set up many foundations to help these causes, and this summer is no different.
Many NHLers have embraced the Ice Bucket Challenge that raises awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. The disease is also commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease as it was first made famous by the legendary New York Yankees slugger.
The challenge went viral thanks to Peter Frates, who was a baseball star at Boston College before he was diagnosed with the disease in 2012. There are some differing stories on the exact origin of the challenge, but Frates’ vast number of supporters help push it into an internet phenomenon.
(Sadly, one of the co-creators, Corey Griffin, just died in a diving accident.)
New England area athletes like Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots and the Boston Bruins’ Patrick Bergeron.
After that it just took off as many NHL players and executives took the challenge to raise money and awareness for the cause.
We’ve had some very memorable Ice Bucket Challenges. Let’s start with my favorite so far as current free agent Paul Bisonette takes it to the next level by use of a helicopter, glacier water and a speedo.
Not only did Bisonette take getting doused to new heights, but he also called out LeBron James. (LBJ completed the challenge later on.)
Recently extended Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban used a dump truck and a lot of ice to for his challenge
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman got in on the act last week (after being called out by Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs), and also called out new Maple Leafs’ president Brendan Shanahan, Brian Burke of the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings legend Rob Blake with his challenge.
The stylish Don Cherry even got in on the act the other day.
The thing has spread like wildfire as even AHLers and players in the minors have even gotten in on the act. Heck, I’ve seen Charlie Sheen get creative and dumped $10,000 in cash on himself instead of ice.
However, I’ve notice a lot of people are slamming the challenge with reasons such it’s a waste of water. I can totally understand people getting upset about the waste of water thing. If you live a place like California or anywhere else that’s having drought issues, I suggest you scratch out a check save the water.
I had someone post that people in Africa are having trouble getting water as a reason not to do it, and I get that as well. If you’re concerned about that, make a donation. Just do a Google search water charity for Africa or something along those lines and lend a hand to that. They could use it, too.
I just wish these “Charity hipsters” would realize that a lot of people that take the challenge and also donate to the cause. No one was talking about ALS that much, but this challenge has many people thinking about it.
It seems as if the old phrase, “no good deed goes unpunished” rings true.
Say what you will, but the challenge has raised a ton of money (one report from the New York Daily News said that $22.9 million was raised) and plenty of awareness.
One of my good friends said this
If you don't want any part of it then that's fine, no need to hate on anyone for doing it. Seems to be the way in social media these days, if enough people get behind something another group has to be vocal about how they think it's wrong and stupid.
That quote pretty much sums it up. I’ll be glad to do it when and if I’m ever challenged.
Dan Mount is the editor for Hockey Sentinel and covers New York teams for NYSportScene.com. He can be found on Twitter @DanMountSports.