Los Angeles Dodgers star Matt Kemp pledged $1,000 for every home run he hits until the All-Star Game to aid relief efforts near Oklahoma City after Monday's deadly tornado. Kemp, who is from nearby Midwest City and will make $20 million this year, immediately came under fire for the gesture.
Many people thought that Kemp simply wasn't giving enough. And let him know about it via Twitter.
So now he's reached deeper into his pocket and is donating an additional $250,000 that's not tied to his on-field performance. Here's the statement Kemp issued Wednesday through the Chris Singleton Foundation.
"Dear Families of OKC,
On Monday, out of concern and emotion I committed $1,000.00 for every home run I hit until the All-Star Break. It was a quick and small gesture in advance of what I knew would be my greater contribution through your rebuilding process. I am keeping my pledge and in addition, donating $250,000.00. May God bless you through this and the many generous donations coming to your aid." -Matt Kemp #PrayforOklahoma"
This comes a day after NBA star Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder donated $1 million to relief efforts.
We know what you're thinking: Did Kemp step it up because people were calling him cheap? Did he feel upstaged by Durant? Or was this his plan along, do the "quick and small gesture" first, then the "greater contribution" later? (Did your eyes roll right then?)
While the Twitter trolls would the love the satisfaction of the first scenario being the answer (and it very well could be), here's a better question: Does it matter?
Matt Kemp has proven again that he's a good guy. Whether he's doing it to save face or because it was his intention all along, he's giving a good chunk of money and it will make a difference. There are many other people in sports more worthy of stern judgment than Matt Kemp.