Jeremy Affeldt of the San Francisco Giants did something recently that not many, if any, folks would do as he gave the team back $500,000 in salary that was mistakenly over-paid to him from 2010.
That’s right folks. Just when you think it’s time to give up on all humanity, especially those spoiled, overpaid athletes, a story like this pops up on the radar.
“I won’t sleep well at night knowing I took that money because every time I open my paycheck I’ll know it’s not right,” Affeldt said.
The clerical error occurred after Affeldt reworked a new two-year extension worth $10 million. In his old contract he was set to make $4 million, but when the new contract was written up $4.5 million was inserted. Affeldt, his agent and the Giants all signed the contract without catching the error.
But here is the best part of this story.
Both San Francisco and the MLB Players Union said that it was not Affeldt’s error and that legally he could keep the money. But Affeldt’s conscience just couldn’t allow him to keep the money.
So the obvious question of course is what would you have done? A mere $5,000 would be a blessing for this sports writer and $50,000 could make this a great year. Lord knows everyone would like to think they would pull an Affeldt in this situation, but would you really? Really?
So kudos to Affeldt for doing the right and proper thing in this situation. You give us all hope.
Now let’s just hope the President, Politicians and the IRS can find away to man up like Affeldt did here.
M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.
Follow him @woodysmalls.