September 22, 2011
Never one to dwell on bad news, Metta World Peace(notes) (the basketball player previously known as Ron Artest) has bounced back from Tuesday's early dismissal from "Dancing with the Stars" by spreading good cheer across this great nation. The man is a human positivity machine.
As he often does, World Peace just gave a very large sum of money to a variety of mental health charities. Mark Medina has the details for the Los Angeles Times:
Metta took some steps to bring World Peace on Wednesday by donating $285,000 to mental health charities across America.
He has pledged to give away more than $500,000 that he raised by raffling off his 2010 Lakers championship ring. [...]
"When I was a kid, I did see a counselor," he said. "My mom helped me out, she realized I was having problems when I was 13 years old. She realized I was going through a lot.
"We have a big problem right here in America with mental health, from little boys not understanding what it takes to be a good dad or be a good older brother or a role model -- to violence."
This cause has been a major passion for World Peace since at least the Lakers' championship in 2010, when he celebrated the Game 7 victory over the Celtics by thanking his therapist on national TV. In the past 15 months, he has raffled off his title ring and raised many more funds, all while making the argument that there's no shame in getting help for mental health issues. He has committed to this issue with the kind of dedication we usually only expect from basketball players on the court. World Peace doesn't just have charity interests -- it's arguably the biggest part of his life right now.
He deserves to be commended as much as possible. However, it bears noting that at some point World Peace himself may want to pay attention to his own finances, too. While this specific donation came from his ring raffle, he has his hand in lots of investments and interests, from music to reality TV to charity. Does he have enough money to sustain everything once his playing career is over?
I don't want to make it seem like I think MWP should stop giving to charity. But, at some point, it will be a massive problem if he can't continue to be an advocate for this cause because his bank account has taken a hit. People who support a cause this strenuously are rare. It would be a shame if World Peace had to stop helping those in need.
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