Sports personalities are some of the highest paid professionals in the world. These athletes can make a substantial amount of money in no time simply by their profession or through different sponsorship opportunities. Athletes have the highest turnover per year and their staggering salaries can take years for most people to even dream of making.

This applies to athletes associated with almost every sports field, however, the highest paid athletes can be found in the NBA, boxing, football, soccer and golf. All of the top athletes are listed in Forbes top 1000 highest-paid people; and since the sports industry is booming, the wages of athletes is also increasing. Those days are long gone when athletes had to work two jobs to fund their sporting career, now all they have to do is work hard and their career will start paying for itself.

Furthermore, athletes can also increase their wealth by making special guest appearances or by promoting a brand. For example, many athletes are paid by sporting brands such as Nike to use their products while performing. These brands pay athletes a staggering amount of money plus royalties; this is just one of the many different revenue streams that athletes enjoy.

However, the most renowned philanthropists are present in the sporting industry. Extensive lists of athletes have used their wealth to help change lives all around the world. These athletes are not only funding the welfare of different communities but actually, have charity funds which comprise of millions of dollars. Athletes are not only contributing in monetary terms, they are also using their position to help raise awareness about different core issues in societies. People look up to their sporting idols and take their opinion very seriously; this is why so many athletes are vocal about pertaining issues.

These athletes are really changing lives and in some cases are actually saving them! Some of the most renowned athletes who are philanthropists are mentioned below:

James Michael Lafferty

James Michael Lafferty is a household name in many countries he has lived in, as this man has proven to the world that anything is possible. James started his career as a fitness trainer and is now the CEO of Fine Hygienic Holding, after a 30 year career as a CEO within Procter and Gamble; Coca-Cola; and BAT. He has coached and trained many different Olympic athletes and is a keynote speaker on various aspects of business and leadership. His philanthropic efforts include the "Adopt an Olympian program" which encourages other CEOs to help fund the success of athletes. He was also in the news for saving an individual's life at the Nagoya Japan airport by performing CPR.

Wayne Rooney

Soccer and Wayne Rooney are synonymous to each other, especially since he was transferred to the American League. Rooney was from the slums of England and is now one of the highest paid athletes in the world. He has done wonders for both club and country but his philanthropic efforts are the most well-known. He founded the Wayne Rooney Foundation as charity fund to help poor people receive proper health care and has also established many different kennels for animals.

These are just two athletes who use their wealth to spread joy in other people’s lives. Although athletes are one of the highest paid professionals in the world, they return the favor with their philanthropy.