It has now become a tradition for the Super Bowl, America's most important sport event, to feature at least one Haitian athlete. This year, the Haitian-American community will be represented by Ricky Jean-Francois, a New England Patriots' defender.
|SUPER BOWL- 2018|
|Teams||New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles|
|Time||6:30 PM Eastern Time|
|Venue||US. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN|
|Haitian Presence||Ricky Jean-Francois (Patriots)|
Like the majority NFL athletes of Haitian descent, Ricky Jean-Francois was born in Miami, Florida. He is well-known in the American football world and has appeared in the Super Bowl in 2012. He has played for the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers before joining the New England Patriots last year.
Although Jean-Francois is a newcomer to the Patriots team, he seems to have developed a taste for New England way before his arrival to the most successful NFL team in recent history. The US-born Haitian player reportedly owns tens of Dunkin Donuts' franchises in South Florida.
Prior to officially join the Patriots, the 6-foot-3, 313-pounder appeared in three games as a reserve for the club and made three tackles before being released on December 2. Jean Francois played in six games this season for Green Bay before being released on November 1. He has played for San Francisco (2009-12), Indianapolis (2013-14), Washington (2015-16) and Green Bay (2017). He originally entered the NFL as a seventh round draft pick (244th overall) by San Francisco out of Louisiana State in the 2009 NFL Draft. After four seasons with the 49ers, he joined Indianapolis as an unrestricted free agent on March 14, 2013. After being released by the Colts on Feb. 23, 2015, he signed with Washington on Feb. 27, 2015, and played with the Redskins for two seasons before being signed by Green Bay as an unrestricted free agent on March 23, 2017.
Like most other US-born Haitian athletes, Jean-Francois is known to participate in activities helping Haiti. In response to president Trump's controversial "shithole" comment on Haiti, Jean-Francois responded: "One thing you got to understand about Haitian people is that we’re strong. Words don’t bother us. Everyone has their opinion. The only way your opinion becomes valued is if I value it. It don’t mean anything. It’s just a bunch of words that don’t have a meaning unless you allow it to have meaning.”
Jean-Francois is one of only two Caribbean representatives in this year Super Bowl. The other is New England Patriots' Patrick Chung who is of Jamaican descent.
If you were undecided for tonight's Superbowl, now you know which team to support. Apparently, the Haitian diaspora in Philadelphia will have harder decision to make.