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NFL to promote relief efforts in Haiti

UPDATED (2:50 p.m.)...

The NFL plans to promote relief efforts in Haiti by having messages about the Red Cross's donation line aired during the television broadcasts of this weekend's four playoff games.

According to NFL officials, Commissioner Roger Goodell directed the league office to work with CBS and Fox, the TV networks carrying this weekend's games, to provide messages to viewers before and during games about the Red Cross's text-to-give line to aid relief efforts in Haiti after this week's devastating earthquake there.

The NFL also has contacted ESPN and the league-owned NFL Network about running similar messages during their pregame shows this weekend, according to league officials.

The league is filming a public service announcement featuring several NFL players that is to air during this weekend's games to further promote relief efforts by the Red Cross.

There will be video-board messages and public address announcements at the stadiums at all four games this weekend promoting the text-to-give line, officials said.

The Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers, who host games, will be doing collection drives at their games to support relief efforts. The Colts' owners began their team's collection drive with a $10,000 donation to the Red Cross.

The NFL Players Association is making plans for a donation to relief efforts but the final details have not been completed, a union official said.

According to the league's research, about two dozen NFL players were either born in Haiti or are first-generation Haitian-Americans.

Detroit Lions offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus was born in Haiti. Players whose parents were born in Haiti include the Colts' Pierre Garcon, the Chargers' Jacques Cesaire, the Denver Broncos' Elvis Dumervil and the New Orleans Saints' Jonathan Vilma and Pierre Thomas.

The league directed individual teams to provide support services as needed to players with ties to Haiti.

Most players with relatives there have not been able to reach them because of communications breakdowns after the earthquake, according to NFL officials.

Dumervil said during a televised interview this week that he has 40 to 50 family members in Haiti.

"This is a tough time right now," Dumervil told ESPN. "It's a major tragedy.... It was already struggling. For something like this to happen is really unfortunate. It's really a time of desperate need.... It's a really sad situation and it needs help."

According to the Associated Press, Garcon said Thursday that he and his mother received calls letting them know that some family members in Haiti are safe but many relatives remain unaccounted for. Garcon, a wide receiver from the Colts, was born in New York and went to high school in Florida. His parents emigrated from Haiti to the United States. He and the Colts are preparing to face the Baltimore Ravens in a playoff game Saturday night.

By Mark Maske  |  January 14, 2010; 1:35 PM ET  | Category:  League , Union Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

My government is giving several hundred million in direct aid plus sending hospital ships, troops, etc etc. Those come out of my tax dollars as a US citizen. Thanks, but I gave at the office.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 14, 2010 5:48 PM

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