Football

J.J. Watt’s Harvey fundraiser far exceeds expectations. Now the hard work begins.

J.J. Watt has been known for wreaking havoc on opposing defenses. He will now be recognized for a much greater purpose.

The Houston Texans defensive end’s fundraiser has raised more than $32.8 million for Hurricane Harvey relief – a stellar total, considering the goal when the crowdfunding page launched on Aug. 27 was just $200,000.

Watt’s fundraiser will end Friday. He has expressed his gratitude to all who have donated.

“There are not enough words to thank you all for your generosity. If there is one thing that I have taken away from these last few weeks, it is the reassurance of how much good is out there in our world,” Watt wrote on the page. “When times are the toughest, humanity stands at its strongest and you have all helped to prove that emphatically. On Friday, Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. CT (3 p.m. Pacific time), we will complete the fundraising portion of our efforts to dedicate our time to ensuring every dollar is put to work for the people in the devastated areas in and around Houston.

“There are many places you could have donated your hard-earned money and I’m honored you have chosen to join this effort to support the people who were affected most by Hurricane Harvey. Please keep this spirit of helping one another alive. The world is a better place when we all take care of each other.”

People in the Houston area have shown their appreciation to him, too. A petition was started with the goal of renaming a freeway after him. As of 10 p.m. Pacific on Wednesday, it was at more than 90,000 signatures, nearly 60,000 short of its goal. The petition will be sent to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to have Watt’s name on State Highway 99 – which is also his jersey number.

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