Global games, global family

Over the past few days we have highlighted the efforts of a number of athletes and organizations to aid the people of Haiti in this incredible time of need. Support from the world of sports continues, including that from NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick, the Washington Redskins, NFL and NFLPA, NBA and NBPA, World TeamTennis, Detroit Lions, Phoenix Suns, John Calipari, Tampa Bay Lightning. The list, thankfully, goes on and on.

Of course to care about those in Haiti and to support recovery efforts does not require any direct connection to the country. We see suffering of our fellow man, woman, and child and we want to help. However, our ability to connect even closer to those in Haiti or anywhere else where those are in need of help is enhanced when we know someone from that place, if we work with that person, we socialize with them. With the globalization of the sports work force, especially in the United States’ pro leagues and even colleges, we see players, fans, and teams/leagues instilled with an equally heightened ability to empathize. That empathy is being channeled into action by all of these groups.

George Laraque of the Montreal Canadiens is an example of that international athlete. Laraque is one of a handful of N.H.L. players of Haitian descent. (Who knew?)

Laraque is not new to the NHL – he’s a 12-year veteran – but for those who are not hardcore hockey fans, and even for those who are – knowledge of his Haitian connection is probably pretty scant. (You can read the following NY Times article to learn more).

Last week, the Canadiens announced they were donating $100,000 to earthquake relief and would further match fans’ donations. The Canadians may have done this anyway but with having a member of their “family” so effected by what is happening in Haiti, it stands to reason that they were further motivated to help one of their own.

Global games, global family.