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Athletes Step Up to Help Haiti Earthquake Victims

IFRCSo many conversations of the last year, and certainly beyond, have focused on huge dollar figures that go along with professional sports and their high-paid, spoiled athletes.

During this past week, players from across the professional sports spectrum who are often portrayed as being little more than indulgent have shown quite the opposite personas. They have let their checkbooks act as their PR agents but most importantly, have proven that humanity comes first. The devastation of the 7.0 Earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12 was on the world’s minds and many who could afford to help, have done so.

Among the most impressive was a quickly planned fundraiser for which World No. 1 tennis player, Roger Federer, rallied with tournament organizers to stage an event on the eve of the Australian Open. Federer is credited for sidelining his own tournament preparation schedule, and gathering a roster of tennis stars that did the same, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams to entertain fans. Along with proceeds from $10 tickets purchased by fans that attended the event at Rod Laver Arena, the pros raised more than $200,000 for earthquake victims.

Lucky BWilliams further put her 2008 Olympic Team tennis dress and autographed U.S. Open tennis shoes on eBay to raise money for Haitian victims.

Another spectacular effort was the result of the “Athletes Relief Fund for Haiti” co-founded by retired NBA standout, Alonzo Mourning, and Miami Heat star, Dwayne Wade. The fund raising project has received donations from at least 27 professional athletes including Wade, who donated a one-game salary of $175,000, and LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul who each poured in $100,000. The fund has amassed more than $800,000.

The National Football League and the NFL Players Association pledged $2.5 million to aid relief efforts, and some of its players went a step further and helped drive donations via their Twitter accounts. New England Patriots receiver, DonteStallworth pledged to donate $1 to Project Medishare and was joined by teammate Wes Welker and Cleveland Browns receiver, Josh Cribbs to raise $34,200 for the emergency relief fund.

Among Major League Baseball’s efforts, the New York Yankees announced a $500,000 contribution to Haiti relief, with other players and clubs following with their own programs. The league itself pledged an immediate donation of $1million.

I know I’m just touching the edge of the great ways athletes and professional organizations have stepped up to help provide medical, food and other relief aid to an already poor neighbor of the United States. Personally, I’m proud to be able to write not of sports public relations challenges this week, but of a victory that is not only publicly appealing, but humanely admirable.


Image by IFRC

Image by Lucky B

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5 Responses to Athletes Step Up to Help Haiti Earthquake Victims

  1. Gail Sideman January 20, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    By the way, I didn’t mean to imply at the beginning of the post that all professional athletes are spoiled. While they may have the monetary benefits, not all act out. Just saying….

  2. Brad January 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Chris Harris of the Carolina Panthers is sending an autograph to everyone who YouTubes theirself making the 90999 text.

    Here’s more information on it…

  3. July 23, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    What’s up to all, the contents present at this website are in fact amazing for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  4. Haiti Donate January 10, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

    Lots of thanks to Sybil Johnson for assisting
    with this cause, who continues to support the work performed in Haiti, and also to every one of you which donated funds in a time of situation. Currently, with the
    land waiting for, we are attempting to raise money to construct a framework that
    will be tidy, power efficient, as well as sustainable to make sure that they could really
    have a location to call residence. I understood a
    dead pup in a Haitian household’s hut.

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