Crisis in Nigeria strikes close to home for Idonije

Israel Idonije has spent 10 seasons in the NFL and has carved himself a nice niche on the defensive...

Israel Idonije has spent 10 seasons in the NFL and has carved himself a nice niche on the defensive line of the Bears. But his main focus is on helping his team find a way into the post-season. (JONATHAN DANIEL/AFP/Getty Images)

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:09 PM ET

WINNIPEG - His roots are in Nigeria, where he was born.

His heart is with kids, the focus of his charitable foundation.

So when Israel Idonije heard about the crisis in his home country, where some 300 school children have been abducted and remain missing, it tore him up.

"The same way it did everyone else," Idonije said in an interview from Chicago, Friday. "You're left speechless when you hear what happened. The situation is just an incredible tragedy. You have so many questions... how did something like that happen?

"It's just heartbreaking. Very tragic."

In typical Idonije fashion, Manitoba's only NFL player doesn't just absorb news of the tragedy and go about his business.

He finds out if there's something he can do, if there's some way his foundation can help.


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