Olympic bronze medalist and super middleweight star Andre Dirrell has taken matters into his own hands with a grassroots effort to raise funds in toward the purchase of clean water for those affected by the poisoned water crisis in his hometown of Flint.
President Obama, last month, declared a national state of emergency in Flint, Michigan, whose water supply was contaminated with toxic levels of lead when its source was changed from Lake Huron to the Flint River. To date, over 102,000 people have been poisoned and the number continues to climb (source: Huffington Post).
The super middleweight has already donated thousands of dollars of his own money toward the purchase of clean water for Flint residents and is imploring his fellow fighters and everyone in the boxing community to do what they can to help.
“As an athlete, I have a great appreciation for the importance of water in someone’s life,” said Dirrell. “You can’t train without water, but the people of Flint need it for much more than drinking. They need to bath, cook and stay alive. This is a tragedy and I feel as though I’m in a position to not only do what I can to help these people, but encourage my fellow fighters and the whole boxing community to do what they can.
“On a personal note, I have over 30 family members living in Flint can possibly be poisoned, including six or seven of my nieces and nephews who range from the ages of 2-13. It hurts knowing that there are serious long-term effects, especially on young kids. If those were my kids, I would want something to be done. Let’s help save my city.”