Cliff Avril's monster performance good for Seahawks and Haiti
Seattle Seahawks Cliff Avril's big effort against the Falcons has off-the-field ramifications.
Professional athletes do more good across multiple communities than most perceive but rarely does one link their charitable efforts so closely to their on-the-field performance like Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril has.
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Nothing compares to the destruction Hurricane Matthew wrought on Haiti in early October, but Avril has done his best to wreak just as much metaphorical havoc on the football field in an effort to rebuild it. During his bye week, the veteran defensive end pledged to build a house for every sack he notched on the season.
His first foray into re-building Haiti was a resounding success and left Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan probably wishing the stakes weren't quite so high. Avril hit Ryan twice including forcing a fumble recovered by defensive tackle Tony McDaniel and notched two tackles for a loss and of course in the stat that matters -- sacks -- he added two more to his collection running his season total up to four.
He doubled his sack total on Sunday, which means more check-writing.
“It means more money is coming out of my pockets," Avril said via 710 ESPN Seattle's Eric Mandel. "No, I’m just joking. Yes, it’s for a great cause. We’re so fortunate to play a game for a living and on top of that I’m able to provide homes for people who don’t have homes, the things that we take for granted. So, I’m grateful and I’m fortunate to be in a situation to do it and hopefully we’ll get more.”
The sack pledge isn't the only way Avril's helping his homeland; both his parents hail from Haiti. He's also started a fundraiser, which has already raised $4,850. With 25 days left, he's nearly half way to his goal:
My $10,000 goal will provide over 33,000 meals, 50,000 water units and serve 5,000 patients.
It's clear he's motivated to raise as much money as possible. Yet, Avril downplayed the "extra in-game motivation" narrative that sprung up because of his big game.
“I didn’t think about that until after the game when somebody pointed that out," Avril said on Seahawks.com. "I’m just grateful to be able to help out. I’m fortunate to be in a situation to be able to do that, so it’s pretty cool.”
He may not be using the tragedy as fuel in-game but he's clearly do everything he can to help the effort.
Click here to help his cause by donating.
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