Making Head Start Kids Part of the Brady Bunch by Marjorie Arons-Barron

The entry below is being cross posted from Marjorie Arons-Barron’s own blog.

Tom Brady has a head start on a wonderful life.  He has the golden touch. But why couldn’t he also give a head start to the program by that name? Monday’s Boston Herald had an interesting juxtaposition, a story about a huge Head Start backlog in Massachusetts opposite a Peter Gelzinis column noting how Tom Brady, who just signed a jaw-dropping $72 million contract, gets a free $98,000 Audi S8 luxury sedan from the manufacturer because he supports the Best Buddies program, in which Audi has been involved.
Now, it’s admirable that Brady hangs out with developmentally disabled children through Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s Best Buddies Program. But, as Gelzinis said, couldn’t he take the freebie car, auction it off and use the proceeds for the charity? Track Gals Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa echoed the idea this morning, and the Globe’s Joanna Weiss weighed in as well, urging that the pampered and super rich jock refuse the car so it could be used for charitable purposes .

I’d like to go a few steps further. Let’s return to that juxtaposition I mentioned and look as well at the 1000 kids on the waiting list to get into the federal low-income Head Start program, the program that gives disadvantaged pre-schoolers an early education experience that enables them to do better in school. Advocates are looking for a $500,000 supplemental budget through the state legislature. Through the program, health and dental care also become available to these youngsters. Head Start participation can give the kids a boost – in math, in reading, in social interactions – that can mean the difference between success and failure in school. It’s a foundational experience that pays off.

So, Tom Brady, you just signed a $72 million contract to play football. You completed three touchdown passes on Sunday, and it was great fun to watch. How about kicking in some of your lavish income to help the Head Start program? More than 26 players on the Patriots earn in excess of a million dollars a year. The team’s total payroll is $96 million a year. How about taking the lead and soliciting donations from your well-heeled team mates and perhaps players on other Boston sports teams who have “made it.”?  Wouldn’t the real touchdown pass be one that helps a low-income youngster advance the ball and maybe even make it into the end zone?

– Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

3 Responses to Making Head Start Kids Part of the Brady Bunch by Marjorie Arons-Barron

  1. kad barma says:

    The so-called “well-heeled” NFL player has an average career (according to the NFLPA) of 3 1/2 seasons. This means that “rich” guy making a million bucks this year won’t even make 5 in total playing pro ball, and, after taxes, is likely to take home barely a couple. If you amortize this over any length of time, it’s not a whole heck of a lot.

    No arguments that Saint Tom has plenty to spare. Just be careful presuming to decide who owes the world their charity. Many (most?) of those contracts never pay out the headline number. Given the physical and mental debilitation caused by playing pro football, (did you ever watch the documentary on Hall of Famer Mike Webster?), it’s not clear who owes what to whom.

    Certainly it’s poor form to call people out this way, and I’m inclined to think less of Marjorie for it, not the other way around.

  2. joe from Lowell says:

    It’s fine to ask Tom Brady to donate to some worthy charity, but calling him out as if he’d done something wrong because he hasn’t donated to your particular charity, just to others, doesn’t sit well with me.

  3. Bob Forrant says:

    What’s really interesting about St. Tom – and don’t get me wrong here I love the Pats – is he can get a girlfriend pregnant, move on and marry someone else and the WEEI cultural warriors and Pats suck ups all over the place don’t bat an eye. But if an African-American player did something similar the airwaves would be crackling wiht junk about ‘irresponsible dads’.

    Obama should place a luxury tax on al pro athletes making more than $2M a year wth the entire pile of loot spent in the plublic schools making sure every single kid gets decent phys ed and solid information about the importance of diet and exercise for good health.

    We’ve become a nation of lumpy watchers, referring to the Patriots and Red Sox with the collective we and us as in “When we win the Super Bowl again” – this is almost as bad as athletes referring to themselves in the third person!

    Not sure where the bigger mispalced egos lie, in a pro sports locker room or the US Senate – but the Senate yahoos can certainly do more damage in the long run – check out Iraq and Afghanistan and Walter Reed Medical Center for proof.