Warrick Dunn, a True Hero: the Story the Media Won't Touch

Russell IvanacSenior Analyst IJune 26, 2008

Look at the headlines of most sports sites and you will see stories that fit the saying "the squeaky wheel gets the oil." So it's no surprise that Warrick Dunn's recent headline-worthy actions have received little attention.

Earlier this week (June 24) Dunn was inducted into the World Sport Humanitarian Hall of Fame. It would be one thing if this were his first award, but this is far from it.

He has also earned the Giant Steps Award for civic leadership (awarded to him by former President Bill Clinton) and the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (for community service and on-field excellence).

Looking beyond the awards, Dunn has done more for others than most people realize, so let's recap.

It all started with his mother, Betty Smothers. She was a single mother who raised Dunn and his five siblings while working two jobs as a police officer and a security guard. She was tragically killed in the line of duty, leaving Dunn to raise his siblings just days after his 18th birthday.

As a tribute to her, Dunn has helped roughly 80 single parent families purchase homes by contributing the down payment and working with local companies to furnish the homes.

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He also helped raise $5 million to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

He has done all this by establishing the Warrick Dunn Foundation and the Homes for the Holidays program.  Additionally, he co-founded the Athletes for Hope Foundation with fellow athletes Lance Armstrong and Mario Lemieux, among others.

Warrick Dunn is an example to follow in sports today, and a great role model for young athletes.

With so many stories about big stars running their mouths or getting in trouble with the law, I find it refreshing to hear about a man who would literally give the shirt off his back to a complete stranger. If it weren't for ProFootballTalk.com I probably wouldn't have found out about Dunn's actions and that is the true shame of today's media.

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