PITTSBURGH PA - JANUARY 15: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by safety Haruki Nakamura #43 of the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15 2011 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Baltimore Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura, one of only a few NFL players of Japanese descent, issued a statement Monday asking for support in disasters that hit Japan recently. Haruki's immediate family lives in the United States, but they have a lot of relatives and friends in Japan, and of course have been following the disaster with a slightly more vested interest than most people in America. Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post interviewed Nakamura via email with part of the interview below:
NFP: What's your reaction to what's happening in Japan?
Nakamura: "Emotionally I was in utter shock of the images. It is unreal what mother nature is capable of. The devastation is remarkable yet the people of Japan are staying calm disciplined and true to there humble unwavering culture under horrible conditions. I am truly proud to call myself a Japanese American."
NFP: What can people do to help those affected by this tragedy?
Nakamura: "Right now they can contact their local Red Cross and donate water, clothes, food, basically anything they feel could help the cause. I am also putting together an autograph fundraiser Red Cross and all the Ripken organization that will include many of our players including some of our pro bowlers. It will be held at Cal Ripken stadium. We are currently working out the date but targeting the weekend of April 2nd."
NFP: What's going on as far as any family members and friends who are still in Japan? How are they coping with this extremely difficult situation?
Nakamura: "My half brother is safe and my friends are also safe. They are currently a little shaken by the events that have occurred and that are still happening."
Click here to read the full interview from the National Football Post.