It's great when athletes do good things and use their platform and fame to try to make a positive difference. However, in general, athletes aren't any more generous than people of any other profession. They get more attention than most people who do good deeds because of their fame and status as professional athletes.
Athletes get recognized enough for the good things they do when they actually seek out the recognition. For the most part, athletes prefer to remain under the radar relative to these kinds of things. They get enough recognition merely for the job they do - being an athlete. But, recognition is always nice.
Sometimes you will hear about an athlete in the news reading to kids or giving footballs or basketballs to fans, but this story is unique and beautiful. I wish more of this ended up in the news rather than hearing about all the NFL players that beat up their wives and disgrace their teams.
No, athletes are not often recognized for the good things they do, but that's not necessarily a problem. Athletes do community service and good works for the sake of the action, not for the recognition they receive. Sometimes a quiet act or gift is more significant than one that's done with great fanfare.