NFL players head to border to bring supplies to detained children
NFL players headed to the U.S.-Mexico border this week to bring supplies to the migrant children separated from their parents under President Trump’s zero tolerance policy.
Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman told USA Today Sports on Thursday that he felt compelled to do something after reading about the thousands of children in detention centers.
“Put yourself in somebody else’s shoes,” Norman told the outlet. “They’ve got nothing, come here seeking asylum, know nothing of where they’re going to, other than that it’s gotta be better than where they were. Then you get to this place, and they treat you like less than a dog. We’ve lost our touch as a humanity.”
“This is about the kids. So, I never hesitated when the Lord said go,” he added.
Norman reached out to Lauren Phillip, who helps him with charitable work, and she found the nonprofit Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), USA Today reported.
A fundraiser for RAICES started by a California couple has raised more than $20 million for migrant children separated from their parents.
Norman went to Texas with New Orleans Saints linebacker Demario Davis, USA Today reported. Both athletes are members of the Players Coalition, a social justice organization.
The men landed in San Antonio on Tuesday and filled shopping carts at a local Walmart with supplies for the migrant children.
We are so thrilled to have Pro Football Player @J_No24 volunteering with us today! We already put him to work assembling backpack care packages for families. He was up all night.
Thank you, Josh! #FamiliesBelongTogther #TeamWorkMakesTheDreamWork pic.twitter.com/Re2hqWXNyd
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) June 27, 2018
— Demario Davis #56 (@demario__davis) June 27, 2018
“We walked into the place and you could see how broken they were,” Norman told USA Today of meeting the children. “So disheartened. They don’t know where they are, really. Then we brought out the book bags and it was like flipping a light switch. You could see the darkness replaced by light and the joy.”
The players told USA Today they met some of the migrants at a bus stop.
“The people started hugging us. The most genuine smiles and hugs,” Davis told the outlet. “They didn’t know us, didn’t know how to speak the language. But it just showed that a little bit of love can go a long way. It was just special, special to see.”
— *Joshua R. Norman (@J_No24) June 28, 2018
The two men took about 30 children and their mothers to a restaurant across the street, USA Today reported.
They bought the next busload of children 20 boxes of pizza.
Norman said the two probably spent around $10,000 on supplies and food.
“It wasn’t about the dollar amount,” Davis said. “We just did what was needed.”
Trump faced massive backlash over his zero tolerance immigration policy, which seeks to prosecute every person who illegally crosses the southern border. The policy resulted in separately detaining parents and children.
He signed an executive order last week to end the practice of separating families after bipartisan pressure.
NFL players have also been embroiled in a bitter feud with Trump regarding protests during the national anthem.
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