HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – JJ Watt’s crusade to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey was more impactful than he could have ever imagined.
The Texans star defensive end set an initial goal of $200,000 after donating $100 thousand of his own money to the cause. Over the next month, Watt received donations from over 200,000 donors including Ellen Degeneres, Jimmy Fallon and Arnold Schwarzenegger and the owners of the Tennessee Titans bringing the final total to just over $37.1 million.
Watt revealed at his press conference on Wednesday that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick donated $100 thousand and $50 thousand respectively to his fundraising effort. New England is Houston’s opponent for Week 3.
“Incredibly kind gestures,” Watt said of their donations. “Just goes to show what type of people they are even despite everything, playing a game against each other, having practiced against each other even being in the same (conference), for them to step up in a time like that and just help their fellow human is pretty special and I think it speaks volumes of their character.”
Brady and Belichick made their donations quietly and it was only revealed after Watt was asked about it. Watt was especially appreciative of the fact that both Watt and Belichick made their donations without the need to publicly announce it.
“Very appreciative of that obviously and I think that the way both of them went about it as well, kind of quietly behind the scenes; I don’t think that they even meant for it to get out. Just good people, much appreciated for sure.
While Watt’s foundation has been working on utilizing the funds towards the recovery efforts, Watt himself is focussed on football and the Brady and Belichick Patriots.
“(Brady) is an unbelievable player, they have an unbelievable coach. They have a great team. We love a challenge like that,” Watt said when asked about the challenge of facing the defending Super Bowl champions. “We have an immense amount of respect for what (the Patriots) have been able to accomplish, what Tom’s been able to accomplish in his time in this league. I mean five Super Bowls, that’s a pretty sweet looking hand.”
Alex Del Barrio covers the Houston Texans for Sportsradio610.com and is the color commentator for the Houston Dynamo. He also hosts “ADB and Murph” with Matt Murphy which can be heard on Saturday afternoons 4-7 pm Follow Alex Del Barrio on Twitter: @alexdelbarrio