Andy Murray has announced that he will donate his winnings from this week’s Aegon Championships to families of victims of the recent Grenfell Tower fire. According to a BBC story, 79 people are presumed dead or missing. Should Murray win the tournament, the donation will exceed $440,000.
This isn’t the first time Murray has taken such a generous step. In 2013, he donated 73,000 pounds (more than $90,000 in 2017 dollars) to the Royal Marsden Center, the spot where his fellow player, Ross Hutchins, was successfully treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
It’s amazing to me that more players don’t make these kind of statements. In 2016, more than 85 men earned $500,000 or more in prize money. On the WTA, 50 players earned at least $633,000. While certainly it’s unreasonable to expect a six-figure donation from too many, just think of the footprint tennis would leave in a community if a player announced that at every tournament he or she would donate as little as $5,000 to a local cause.
Here’s hoping that the generosity Murray shows towards others he also brings to himself. I suppose every human has his or her share of paradoxes. Here is Murray’s: In conversation, he is very thoughtful and direct. As an athlete, he is a workhorse, putting in extensive time on his fitness, diet and practice habits. As a tactician, he is exemplary, a keen student of the game. But as a competitor, he sure can find those dark places. By now, his mid-match verbal interactions with his entourage are worthy of a comedy show. Why must he do this? More answers will come soon once Murray commences his Wimbledon title defense on Monday, July 3.