You may not have heard of German professional soccer team Darmstadt 98, but after reading about the unbelievable act of generosity the team is bestowing on some of its fans, you're sure to remember the name.
According to reports, the German top division side is going to provide low-income fans with free season tickets for Darmstadt's upcoming Bundesliga campaign.
It seems like such a simple gesture, yes, but in a country where the sport of soccer is a huge part of daily life, giving the gift of a live viewing experience to a fan who would otherwise never be able to see their team play is something quite special.
More than being special, though, it's just the right thing to do. Think about a mega-team like the New York Yankees. The Yanks play in the Bronx, where there are tons of Yankee fans, but few who can actually afford tickets to see a game at Yankee Stadium.
This is wrong.
Fans and supporters are the backbone of any sports team. Would the Super Bowl be as important if two teams didn't battle it out in front of a stadium full of screaming NFL fans? The same goes for the NBA Finals, World Series and every other major global sporting event.
Clearly, Darmstadt and the Bundesliga understand this. According to reports, fans will only need a social security card in order to apply for the free tix. In addition to low-income workers, children in large families can apparently also apply for these tickets.
Speaking on Darmstadt's decision, the vice president of the Bundesliga, Markus Pfitzner, reportedly said,
Social responsibility is an important issue for us, and we want to offer the lower-income residents of Darmstadt the possibility to see Die Lilien in a live setting. That's why we're delighted to be able to provide a number of free tickets for the upcoming Bundesliga season.
Barbara Akdeniz, Darmstadt city councillor, reportedly added,
It's important that we maintain an integrated society, and that we take a stand against social exclusion – that's why it's so important that we have SV Darmstadt on our side.
Social responsibility isn't something we see enough of today. The fact a small German soccer team is serving as a small yet vital example of it speaks volumes.