Avril made good on his promise this offseason, funding and helping build 12 homes in Haiti. He had a career high 11.5 sacks in 2016.
In an effort to give back to his roots, Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril in October pledged to build a house in Haiti for each sack he tallied during the 2016 season.
Well, Avril has delivered, making a trip to Haiti along with Michael Bennett and former Seahawk Marshawn Lynch in April. As ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia reports, Avril made good on his promise this offseason, funding and helping build 12 homes in Haiti. Avril had a career high 11.5 sacks in 2016, so the extra half a home is an added bonus.
Avril has made no secret about his desire to reconnect with his roots and give back to the country his parents were born in and emigrated from in the early 1980s. But, he didn’t always feel a connection with Haiti.
“I didn’t really know my dad as much as I should have,” Avril told the Times’ Jayson Jenks in December. “Just his background, my grandparents on his side, where he’s from. I want my kids to know me. I want my kids to know where I’m from. I want them to go back to the islands, to appreciate where their grandma and grandfather came from.”
Avril’s father died two years ago, which sparked his interest in reconnecting with his roots. And upon the completion of his promise, Avril said his dad must be smiling down.
“He’d be so amazed,” he told Kapadia. “I wish I would have done it earlier just so he could have been part of the process. But he’s part of the reason why I’m doing it now. I’m pretty sure it’s him speaking through me. I know he’s up there smiling, for sure.”
Avril worked with an organization called New Story to build the houses. He is also worked with Mission of Hope to help provide funding for immediate needs for those impacted by Hurricane Matthew.
Avril, 31, has been with the Seahawks since 2013, amassing 31.5 sacks over four seasons in Seattle.