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February 12, 2010

Super Bowl Champ Anthony Hargrove Heads to Africa on Humanitarian Mission

New Orleans Saints defensive lineman and 2010 Super Bowl Champion Anthony Hargrove will leave February 13 for Swaziland, where he and two other NFL stars, Cornell Green and George Foster, will begin a 10 day humanitarian mission in the impoverished sub-Saharan African country, Yahoo! Sports reports.

As of 2009, more than 26 percent of Swazi adults were HIV positive, including 50 percent of them in their 20s.

According to The New York Times, Hargrove—who spent three years of his childhood in and out of homeless shelters and foster homes—lost his mother to AIDS-related illness when he was 9. He later struggled with drug and alcohol addiction and was suspended by the NFL in 2008 for his third violation of the league’s drug policy. Less than one year before his Super Bowl win, Hargrove was living in a drug rehab center in Miami.

“I have no idea what to expect,” said Hargrove of his forthcoming journey to Swaziland. Because of an on-field injury, he will spend much of the trip in a walking boot. “I’m just going there with an open mind and heart, doing whatever I can do.”

Hargrove’s group will work with Christian missionaries in Swaziland, building a fence around one of the country’s “Care Points,” where children come to get food when it is available. They will also organize sports activities with children. They will finish their trip in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they’ll work with other missionaries trying to smooth the racial tensions between whites and blacks that have lingered since apartheid.

“To go to Africa and possibly see some life-changing things, I’m really excited about this,” said Foster, whose wife, Chanita, has visited Swaziland. “I’m kind of a clean slate to receive everything. I’m sure there are going to be some things hard to fathom and take, but I’m a compassionate person, and I want to help.”

Search: New Orleans Saints, Super Bowl, Anthony Hargrove, Africa, mission, HIV, AIDS, Johannesburg


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