By Kent Larsen
Mormons Who Turned Down Millions For Principle
ALBANY, NEW YORK -- A Knight Ridder article that appeared in Sunday's
Albany Times-Union admired the few people who publicly turn down
millions because they refuse to violate their beliefs for money.
Among those mentioned in the article are two Mormon athletes who
turned down millions.
Five years ago it was Eli Herring, a 6-foot, 8-inch, 330-pound
college football player and LDS Church member who was drafted into
the NFL. Herring turned down a multimillion-dollar contract with the
Oakland Raiders and a chance to play professionally because he
believed playing football would violate the sabbath. Instead, Herring
is now a high school math teacher in Utah.
More recently Olympic champion Rulon Gardner showed similar
restraint. Soon after his Olympic win, the WWF offered Gardner up to
$1 million to wrestle in their shows, "They've offered me anywhere
from $250,000 for one show to $1 million for a one-year contract," he
told the Los Angeles Times. "But I believe I can help put Greco-Roman
wrestling on the map. ... We all have to stand up for what we
A spokesman for Gardner explained his reluctance, "He's a Mormon, he
doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, and he doesn't use cuss words. [The
WWF is] not the environment he would put himself in."
The article also mentioned others that had passed on millions rather
than compromising their standards, including a couple of women who
had appeared on the so-called 'reality' shows, and turned down offers
to pose for Playboy.
When fortune comes calling, a few say no thanks
Albany NY Times Union pgG10 8Apr01 P2
By Peter Mucha: Knight Ridder