The news cycle has pushed the devastation of Hurricane Maria out the forefront of Americas consciousness but the island is still suffering from the effects of the storm that ravaged Dominica and Puerto Rico in September of last year and many homes and buildings are still without power.
The Cleveland Indians are not forgetting about the people of Puerto Rico and their struggles in recovery. On Monday, the team tried to do its part to provide aid for an island that is now rebuilding after suffering the worst natural disaster in its history by donating their full playoff share from the 2017 season to Francisco Lindor’s birthplace of Caguas, Puerto Rico and Roberto Perez’s communities. The Indians’ earnings are worth $36,782.74 and that was added to the $4000 donated by the Indians’ wives association.
Here’s the AP story–Cleveland Indians donate money to Puerto Rico. Big PR community in Northeast Ohio: https://t.co/yfNMg2UdSU
The Indians made the donation before playing the Minnesota Twins in Puerto Rico on Tuesday night. Manager Terry Francona said that it was the team simply doing what they do. “I’m not surprised,” he said when he was asked about the donation, via Cleveland.com. “That’s one of the things I’m probably most proud about that guys want to give back.”
Francona has set the tone for his team when it comes to addressing social issues and humanitarian works. When pro athletes in all sports were contemplating how to show their support for Colin Kaepernick back in 2016, instead of taking a knee during the National Anthem, the Indians, inspired by Franconas moments of consciousness decided to move in another direction and created The Larry Doby Youth Fund.
Doby was the first African American to play in the American League, making his debut with the Indians on July 5, 1947, just months after Jackie Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers and hogged all of the barrier-breaking shine.
Francona saw the fund as “putting your money where your mouth is.”
The power move raised $1 million in a matter of days to help disadvantaged children in Cleveland and curb youth violence.
The Cleveland @Indians have donated $37,000 for hurricane relief efforts in #PuertoRico https://t.co/3f4C1XXUU0
In addition to Francona’s social consciousness, the island of Puerto Rico has been one of the beneficiaries of MLBs recent Latin explosion, boasting 19 players born outside the US which is third behind Dominican Republic (84) and Venezuela (74). So it’s only right the players who once lived in those impoverished areas or share a cultural connection to the island, help those families and friends struggling to rebound from the hurricane.