JJ Watt true to 'Man of the Year' title: will pay for funerals of TX shooting victims


The Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt has made an incredibly generous gesture to the victims and families of the horrific shooting Friday at Sante Fe High School, which is near Houston.

The star defensive end reached out to school officials with an offer to pay for the funerals of the 10 individuals who were shot and killed Friday by a gunman.

Nine students and one teacher lost their lives in this senseless act of violence.

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Sante Fe High School in Sante Fe, Texas, is located about 37 miles from Houston.

The Texans released a statement on the tragedy, expressing their grief.

“On behalf of the Texans organization, we are saddened by the tragic events at Santa Fe High School this morning and extend our thoughts and heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families, and all those affected. We are grateful for the brave first responders, law enforcement officials and medical personnel. The Texans family will continue to pray for our neighbors,” the statement reads.

Watt won the NFL’s prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2017 for his efforts to help Houston-area residents impacted by last summer’s Hurricane Harvey.

After the devastating hurricane hit, Watt started a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $200,000, and personally matched the first $100,000 donated, according to

In just 19 days, Watt went on to raise more than $37 million for the victims.

“I cannot thank everyone enough for their support and donations from across the country and around the world,” Watt said last October.

“You have truly shown what is possible when everyone bands together for one common cause. While we are going to do some truly incredible things with this $37 million to make it stretch as far as possible, it is only one small step in the massive recovery effort that lies ahead. I encourage you to please continue to find organizations to donate to, whether they be some of the ones listed below or others. Houston will bounce back from this and we will rise up stronger than ever,” Watt added.

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Watt is a special talent on the football field, but he far exceeds that as a human being.

This unspeakable tragedy has created wounds that never fully heal for the families and the community, but Watt’s kind gesture won’t be forgotten.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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