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Friday, June 02, 2006

Sharapova the Scrooge

According to Forbes magazine, Maria Sharapova had an income last year of $18.2 million, making her the 62nd highest paid celebrity and the wealthiest female athlete in the world.

Guess how much she donated to charity. Come on, La Russophobe dares you. Go on, guess.

You know that Maria comes from humble beginnings in Siberia. You know that her country has an average wage of $300 per month and a declining population suffering from all manner of dire maladies. You know she should be insanely grateful to her adopted home, America, which has afforded her both training and merchandising.

Here's the answer, provided by a puff piece on Maria from Australia:

When she heard news of the Beslan school massacre last year in which Chechen rebels slaughtered 344 people - most of them children - the Siberian-born Muscovite immediately fashioned black ribbons for her fellow Russians on the women's tour and auctioned off the Porsche she received as part of her prize for winning the end-of-season WTA Championship title, raising over $US56,000 ($73,700) for the appeal. "Each of us must do what we can do," she said. Sharapova, it has to be conceded, does more than most. After her Beslan initiative, she took part in a charity exhibition match to help victims of the Florida hurricane, and personally handed over a $US10,000 cheque to the Thai prime minister when she flew into Bangkok 48 hours after the tsunami disaster." Every individual can have a big impact," she says. "It is very important, if you get a chance, to help in any way you can. I am fortunate to make a good living, but you never know what can happen tomorrow."
Let's see now: $73,700 + $10,000 = $83,700

That's 0.4% of her income. Of that, only $10,000 was money that actually came out of her own pocket. And not one red cent was donated to America, just played a charity game.

Hey, big spender, spend a little time with me!

Incidentally, the puff piece does not contain one single word about the quality of Maria's TENNIS playing, due no doubt to the fact that her opening match at the French Open was a near disaster where she only barely managed to stave of defeat to an unseeded American in three closely fought sets.

PS: Now, I ask you, does that picture look completely ridiculous, or what? She says in the article that she doesn't WANT to be a model, too "boring." As if, Maria baby, as if.

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