Memphis Grizzles center Marc Gasol joined the non-profit organisation, Proactiv Open Arms, and took part in its rescue efforts to help a woman from Cameroon escape death in the Mediterranean Sea.
Gasol, who was on board of the ship, along with other Proactiv Open Arms volunteers, helped the woman avoid drowning, as hundreds of migrants and refugees, who leave their countries, due to poverty or war, and come to Europe in search for a brighter future, die every day in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Spanish player took to Twitter to describe his experience: “Frustration, anger, and helplessness. It’s unbelievable how so many vulnerable people are abandoned to their deaths at sea. Deep admiration for these I call my teammates at this time.”
Gasol explained what motivated him to join this organisation and help the volunteers: “No concrete reason. Of course, the photograph of the Syrian boy (Aylan Kurdi) who died on the Turkish coast in 2015 provoked a sense of anger and at the same time, it made me see that we all have to do our part in such cases. That’s when I met Oscar Camps and the people of Open Arms. They made me understand that this is the that many children around the world experience.”
When asked whether his life and career could be in jeopardy, because of his initiative to help migrants and refugees, Gasol mentioned that “we have to set an example, demonstrate the seriousness of what is happening. I want to be a direct witness and save people. The risk that you can assume is irrelevant. There’s no better example than the volunteers who are here.”