News / USA

US Football Star Garçon Shines Light Back on Haiti

Multimedia

Audio

The Super Bowl is American football's biggest game of the year.  One big star in Sunday's game is likely to be Indianapolis Colts' receiver Pierre Garçon, whose parents came to the United States from Haiti.  Since the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, Garçon has used his newfound stardom to raise attention to Haiti's needs since the disaster.  

The lead up to Sunday's Super Bowl is a frenzy of media attention on the top two teams, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints.  Star players endure hours of interviews, talking about their football background and their preparation for the big game.

Colts receiver Pierre Garçon is enjoying his moment in the spotlight.  But he also wants to remind people about Haiti, and its struggle to rebuild following a devastating earthquake.

"Haiti has given me extra motivation, but every time I play I try to do my best," said Garçon.

Garçon was born in the United States and grew up playing football not far from the Miami stadium hosting this year's Super Bowl.  He retains a strong link to the homeland of his parents, and carries the nation's flag after crucial football victories.  When news broke about the January 12 quake, he was shocked.

"Just, an earthquake in Haiti is not something you hear about every day.  It was hard for me to believe," he added.

Garçon was relieved to learn his relatives were unharmed.  Since then, he has been drawing attention to the needs of tens of thousands of Haitians who lost their homes and relatives in the disaster.  One of his goals is to raise $150,000 to help a missionary group in northwest Haiti.

"They have been helping people for 10 to 15 years now and we teamed up.  We are trying to bring more help to Haiti really," he explained.

Garçon is among a small group of NFL players of Haitian descent.  The quake has brought them together even across football rivalries.  Garçon will face off Sunday against the New Orleans Saints and Jonathan Vilma, who also has family in Haiti.

"I was fortunate to hear that my family was OK, that night the earthquake hit," said Vilma.  "So that was a relief.  I was able to put it to the side a bit, focus on football.  I can do that until the season is over with."

For Garçon, it has been a challenge to put aside his concerns about Haiti, and focus on football and the most important game of his career,  but he has a simple message to Haitians.

"We are coming, we are coming to help.  Stay strong, hold on.  We will be there soon," added Garçon.

Win or lose on Sunday, Garçon says he plans to return to Haiti in April and offer help to the battered country.

You May Like

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid