JJ Watt takes field for 1st time since raising $31M for hurricane victims; describes play as “terrible”
HOUSTON, Texas — JJ Watt took to the football field Sunday, September 10th for the first time since raising more than $31 million for Hurricane Harvey victims.
The Houston Texans lost their season opener vs. the Jaguars 29-7.
Watt returned after missing 13 games last season after back surgery, but injured his finger in the first half and finished with just one tackle. He was asked to describe his play.
“Terrible,” he said. “There’s only way to go from here and that’s up. Can’t play much worse.”
Watt launched the Hurricane Harvey fundraiser on August 26th, with a goal of $200,000. He was named the NFL Players Association’s Community MVP Friday for his work in the days since the hurricane and flooding devastated Houston and much of SE Texas.
As donations kept pouring in, he raised the goal again and again. The number skyrocketed thanks to almost 200,000 donors including Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres, Drake and Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul.
Watt also worked with his foundation to fill 12 semi-trucks with supplies, which were brought to Houston and distributed in part by Watt and his teammates on Sunday.
The NFLPA will contribute $10,000 to Watt’s foundation for the honor. He becomes a semifinalist for the Byron Whizzer White Award, given annually by the group to recognize charitable efforts of players.
More than 89,000 have signed a petition to rename a Texas highway after JJ Watt.
The Change.org petition was launched by Lindsey Duke of Houston, Texas. It was created on August 31st.
It calls on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to renamve State Highway 99 The JJ Watt Parkway:
“JJ Watt has been an exemplary humanitarian and Houstonian. He has given to our great city more than we could ever have asked for ! Through his fundraising efforts over 12.6 million dollars was raised to aide Houstonians suffering loss due to Hurricane Harvey! As a token of our appreciation not only should SH 99 bear his number but also his name!”