‘It Changed My Perspective,’ NFL Player Says After Visiting Terror Tunnel Discovered by IDF in Southern Israel
Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said visiting a terror tunnel in southern Israel on Thursday changed his outlook on the constant terrorist threats that the Jewish state faces.
“In the US you hear about ISIS and a lot of terrorist groups and things like that, but you don’t really see how close it is,” he said in a video posted on Twitter by the Israel Defense Forces. “And here you come to Israel, it’s like right here, around the corner, like next door neighbors. I think that’s one thing that kind of changed my perspective on this. It’s right here, it’s knocking on the door. It’s so close.”
He added, “It kind of changed my mindset going home, how blessed we are [in the US] and things like that. It was good to definitely get this kind of information, this kind of background, to see how civilians have to deal with it [and] how the military has to deal with terrorist groups.”
Harris Jr. was one of seven NFL players taking a six-day tour of Israel organized by America’s Voices in Israel, a nonprofit that provides high-profile Americans with the opportunity to see Israel firsthand. Some of the athletes were joined by their spouses and other family members.
The group already visited various Jewish and Christian sites in the Holy Land, took a jeep tour near the Israel-Syria border, stopped by a winery, and met with children and Syrian refugees at the Ziv Medical Center in northern Israel.
According to a press release about their stay in the Israel, the NFL players were also scheduled to meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, receive briefings from Israeli leaders of technology, innovation, security, diplomacy and international aid, and join Israel Football League players on-field at the Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem.