Philanthropy Sports Agents

Philanthropy: Darfur

Steve Kauffman is leading the fight among sports agents to end the mass genocide in Darfur.

The Holocaust occurred in Europe less than 70 years ago and the event killed over 6 million Jews. It seems like the world has not yet escaped the threat of mass genocide. Today in the Sudan, many more people are being slaughtered for no particular reason. DarfurIn Darfur, 400,000 civilians have been killed since February 2003. More than 3 million people have been driven from their homes. 10,000 more people are dying each month.

A member of our community, Steve Kauffman, has decided to take it upon himself to become involved and involve his players in a fight against what is occurring in Darfur. Ira Newble of the Cleveland Cavaliers (and client of Kauffman) has started to collect signatures from his teammates and other NBA players in an effort to convince China to use its power in the region and add U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur and condemn the country for its current role in aiding terror [Newble Protesting Genocide in Sudan]. While LeBron James has not yet signed the document, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Sasha Pavlovic and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are among those that have [Cavalier Seeks Players’ Support for Darfur]. In fact, LeBron James, Damon Jones, and David Wesley are the only 3 teammates who have not yet added their signature. James and Jones have business ties in China, and Wesley has not been with the team.

You know all that talk on ESPN, blogs, newspapers, etc. about how bad sports agents are? Slimy, greasy, sleaze-balls…all of us. Time to take a step back and realize that many of us actually care about giving back to the world in many ways. Steve Kauffman has left his mark by influencing one of his clients to make a change and attempt to alter the landscape in Darfur.

-Darren Heitner

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

10 replies on “Philanthropy: Darfur”

Mr. Kauffman is a one of a kind type guy. Not only does he try to fix things that he truly believes but he tries to make this world a better place on and off the court. I have been honored to have had a personal relationship with him and he has been of great assistance to me as I make my name in the sports agent industry.

a very noble cause.

And now for some humor: Kauffman’s efforts have prepared his Cavalier clients for a lengthy offseason when they get eliminated by the Pistons in Game 5!

I should learn to shut my mouth!

Because of my team’s performances, I usually never have to talk smack about other teams. This would be one of the two occasions where I should’ve kept my mouth closed.

(The other being before the Red Wings-Kings Series in 2001).

It is sad that Lebron is not contributing to his teammates efforts to make the world a better place. He claims that he is not informed enough to make a decision but that is quite the lame copout. Adding his name to Newble’s cause would lend it some star power and hopefully galvanize all the other millionaires in the league to pay attention to an issue that really does not get enough attention. If I was an agent I would make an effort to at least inform my client of these types of issues.

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