NFL Players Visit US-Mexico Border to Learn About Migrant Crisis

Two NFL players visited the Rio Grande Valley to learn about the crisis at the US-Mexico border and meet with migrant families on both sides. Josh Norman, a cornerback for the Washington Redskins, and Demario Davis, a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, visited several migrant shelters in the Rio Grande Valley to offer aid to immigrants, KGBT reported. At the Catholic Charities Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, the football players learned about the work the organization does for migrants.

According to Texas Public Radio, the shelter provides showers, meals, and supplies to migrants after they are released from immigration custody. Migrants then travel to their final destinations in the United States to wait for their immigration court hearings. Norman told reporters that the experience was very emotional and put him “in a funk.”

“You see what’s going on and it’s sad and it’s a bit of an oppression,” he told KGBT. “It really is because you’re going through, you walk through and you see those halls and the rooms and how many people are just packed on top of each other.” The athletes also met with local organizations to learn about the issues surrounding the border and immigration, and distribute needed supplies. The two football players donated water, blankets, and other supplies to migrants and asylum seekers, the Index-Journal reported.

Davis told Texas Public Radio that he and Norman were not looking at the situation through a political lens, but instead one of right-versus-wrong. “We just put ourselves in the people’s shoes,” Davis said. “But we haven’t just been here. We also went to Flint [Michigan], and a lot of the same oppression that’s happening here is happening in Flint. It’s sad, but that’s what’s happening to people who don’t have wealth and don’t have power to speak out for themselves. Their voices get silenced.”

Norman, who appeared to be deeply moved by the experience, said he will try to do everything in his power to change the situation. “This is just inhumane. it’s not right. I wish politicians, or whomever the case may be, would just walk two steps within this place, and they’ll see for themselves.” The players also crossed the border into Mexico to render aid to migrants hoping to seek asylum in the United States.

Norman and Davis also teamed up last year during a visit to San Antonio, Texas, where they delivered toys and backpacks to migrant children who were separated from their families and seeking asylum.

The Washington Redskins did not immediately respond to The North Star’s request for comment about their player’s charitable actions in the offseason. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported 361,087 migrants have been apprehended from October 2018 to March 2019. The agency noted that family units represented the largest amount of apprehensions in that time period. “We are all human. Every single face you see in this picture,” Norman tweeted along with a photo of himself and a group of migrants. “The difference — 6 of us got to cross the border back into the United States, while the rest had to remain at this bridge (sleeping on concrete). The TRUTH of the Reality will utterly Shock! You. (sic).”


About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.