03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Earthquake in Haiti Hits Some NFL Players Close to Home

While the New Orleans Saints get ready for Saturday's big divisional playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals, one player in particular has his eye on a situation unfolding hundreds of miles away. Linebacker Jon Vilma, who was born in Coral Gables, Florida, is of Haitian descent and still has several family members in the area. The Pro Bowler was kind enough to grant me one of his first interviews as a New Orleans Saint. I've reached out to Vilma and his management team and will update HuffPost readers if I hear anything with regards to his family's safety.
Other NFL players of known Haitian descent include wide receiver Pierre Garcon of the Indianapolis Colts, guard Max Jean-Gilles of the Eagles, and William Joseph, a DT for the Raiders. Garcon's team has a big match up against the Ravens this weekend. Regardless of whether his or any of these other players families have been personally affected, it's still likely to weigh heavy on their hearts as the impact of the devastation unfolds.

We New Orleanians are no stranger to Mother Nature's wrath. Those panic and grief stricken weeks and months following Hurricane Katrina are part of what many of us consider a nightmarish chapter in our city's history, one that has yet to fully be written. We can only hope that aid and rescue teams will reach the affected areas in Haiti soon to save as many lives as possible.