Super Bowl star plans Haiti trip
Thursday 04 February 2010
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma plans to visit his parents' homeland of Haiti after this Sunday's Super Bowl is over and make a hands-on contribution to relief efforts in the earthquake struck country.
Vilma will line up against the Indianapolis Colts, who feature wide-receiver Pierre Garcon also of Haitian descent, in Sunday's Super Bowl.
Miami, Vilma's hometown, has a large Haitian community and he has been involved in raising cash, via a special tee-shirt, to help rebuild a country where members of his family still live.
But when his football duties are over he plans to head to Haiti and make a physical contribution to the relief effort.
"In the position I'm in right now where I'm really restricted in what I can do, it's really about doing something positive, doing something effective right now and then being more efficient once the season is over with," Vilma told reporters.
"In general, my intentions are to go down there and be productive. You hear a lot of people just going down and saying, 'Look at the devastation,' and that's what they're reporting back. Well, that's a given. That's obvious.
"I want to go down there and help, whether it be to clear out the devastation, try to help build homes, whatever it is I want to go down and not just look around and say it's a sad situation. We all know it's a sad situation. What can I do to help the situation?"
The are 16 players of Haitian descent playing in the NFL and Colts wide receiver Garcon is probably the best known.
Garcon marked his team's AFC Championship win over the New York Jets, which booked their place at the Super Bowl, by lifting up a Haitian flag on the field and he has helped a Christian group with their fund-raising efforts.
"I'm trying to give them a little hope and trying to help as much as I can and do something positive for them. So far, I'm very pleased with what we have done with a lot of help and support and I know we couldn't do it by ourselves. I've been in touch with Haiti and I'm very pleased with what we have done," said Garcon.
Garcon also intends for the Haitian flag to be present during the Super Bowl - probably via a bandana and, he hopes, with another victory parade.
"Hopefully, we will win and I will have the flag out there with me," he said.
Latest in Sport
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...