Free-agent cornerback Pierre Desir, who played for the Ravens in 2020, recently donated 10,000 meals to the Houston Food Bank to assist those struggling due to the treacherous conditions in Texas. Millions of Texans were faced with power and water outages after record-setting low temperatures hit the state.
Based on this donation, it’d be easy to assume that Desir has some connection to the city of Houston, but that is not the case.
“I don’t have any connections or family down there,” Desir said on Glenn Clark Radio Feb. 24. “It’s one of those things where you see what’s going on, you see what’s on the news, you hear people’s stories. I just felt like I had to do something. I just feel like as a person with my platform, it is my duty to help people in times of need.”
Desir is familiar with philanthropic work. He is a two-time Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, once with the Indianapolis Colts in 2019 and then again with the New York Jets this past year (even though the Jets cut him midseason).
Desir has made about $185,000 in donations to his high school in St. Louis, where he lived after his family moved from Haiti when he was 4 years old. He also is very involved with a nonprofit organization called Samaritan’s Feet, which provides shoes to those who don’t have access to them.
He credited his domestic upbringing as one of the key elements that molded his moral compass.
“Growing up, my parents worked multiple jobs. They worked hard. Yet, through that hard work, I still saw them give back the community,” Desir said. “One of the things they said was, ‘You don’t have to always give money. You can give time or the simple gesture of showing up for someone in their time of need.'”
Perseverance is another trait that defines Desir. He played college football at Lindenwood and Washburn, two Division II programs that are not exactly college football blue bloods. Still, he showcased enough to be selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Through his time in the league, he has managed to stick around despite being cut and/or waived five times throughout his career.
This dedication and diligence is another characteristic that he credits to his upbringing.
“I look at football as a dream and something I always wanted to do, but when I look back at my life I’ve been through tougher situations then being cut,” Desir said. “I draw back on my experiences growing up and the hardships I went through as a child and I use this to stay positive. As long as I can keep going, I’m going to keep going.”
Currently, Desir is in the process of figuring out where he is going to play during the upcoming season. The 30-year-old will most likely have suitors when free agency officially opens March 17, as he has shown throughout his seven-year career that he is a capable performer on defense and special teams.
It would be no surprise for the Ravens to pursue Desir for depth in the secondary. He played in three games for Baltimore this past season after signing in late November, mainly contributing on special teams. Desir would not be opposed to re-signing with the Ravens, but he could offer no certainty regarding the possibility.
“I would love to have a little bit longer of an experience with the Ravens. I know how this business works,” Desir said. “If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. I had a great time with the coaches and the players, but it’s one of those things that I have to put my best foot forward for my future and my family.”
For more from Desir, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox