The 20-year-old website Treehugger, with 2.6 million monthly readers, is “one of the world’s largest information sites dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream.” Sports, green or otherwise, is not a significant editorial focus — topics displayed on its dashboard include Environment, Home & Garden, Science, Policy and Design.
So, it is worthwhile to note that the site ran “These Professional Athletes Are Playing For Climate Wins,” featuring two EcoAthletes Champions. In so doing, this brings Green-Sports messaging to a much broader audience than is normally the case.
Green-Sports-themed stories tend to reach an audience of the converted. That’s why seeing “These Professional Athletes Are Playing For Climate Wins” run in Treehugger — which, while certainly reaching climate-passionate readers, does not necessarily reach those who closely follow the Green-Sports — is heartening indeed. Kudos to reporter Margaret Badore for writing the story and to the site’s editors for running it.
As founder of EcoAthletes, I’m certainly biased when I say that Badore could not have picked two better athletes to than EcoAthletes Champions Napheesa Collier and Alena Olsen.
Collier, of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx and the league’s 2019 Rookie of the Year, keyed in on how the climate crisis negatively impacts two issues she and her teammates are very concerned about, telling Badore that “Two things my teammates do talk about are racial injustice and economic injustice. I know that climate change makes these issues much more difficult to deal with, especially for marginalized people and those who are least able to adjust.”
Olsen, who played collegiate rugby at the University of Michigan, shared how climate change is impacting her sport: “Many of the [Rugby] World Series tournaments are played in excruciating heat which make playing conditions increasingly unsafe. We often fantasize about night tournaments just so we can maintain high levels of energy throughout the tournament. California, where we train, is ravaged with wildfires in the summer that jeopardize the air quality for weeks at a time.”
Hopefully, this story resonates well with Treehugger readers, showing those who are not big sports fans — and those who don’t follow sports at all — the power athletes have to move people on climate. You can help, too — by sharing the story with those in your network who are not in the Green-Sports space.
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