Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon and New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma are both of Haitians, and despite facing off against each other in Super Bowl XLIV today, the two are united to help the land their parents came from.
Though he was born in the U.S., Garcon carried a Haitian flag around the field of Lucas Oil Stadium after the Colts' 30-17 victory over the New York Jets. He spoke to the media about his dedication this week.
"The more you guys cover it, the more people will help," Garcon said to the assembled media. "To make it to the Super Bowl is very tough, but to be here with everything that's going on in Haiti, it means a lot for me and the Haitian people that are dealing with it. I don't think most people knew I was Haitian before this happened, but now they know. Everyone now knows I'm Haitian and that I speak Creole (the language spoken in Haiti). I'm very proud to represent Haiti."
Garcon's Web site -- pierregarconlive.com -- is accepting donations for earthquake relief. It has raised thousands of dollars and is looking for more. He will travel to Haiti after the season with his foundation -- Pierre Garcon Helping Hands -- "to hand out clothes, food, money, helping people with whatever they need in any way we can."
Fortunately, the extended families of both players survived the earthquake. Vilma plans a trip to Haiti after the season is over. Both players remain dedicated to bringing relief and comfort to Haiti, despite the outcome of today's game.