As a talented defensive end, J.J. Watt is someone who can’t be ignored on the football field. His monstrous plays make highlight reels on a weekly basis. But off the gridiron? He tries, as best he can, to fly under the radar.
For example, the Houston Texans star quietly contributed $10,000 to the GoFundMe page created for Corey Barr’s family. Barr was the fire captain of the Sun Prairie Fire Department (Wisconsin) who was killed in an explosion Tuesday evening that was caused by a natural gas leak.
The 34-year-old 15-year veteran firefighter was responding to the emergency which also injured 15 others. He leaves behind his wife, Abby, and two young twin daughters. According to the GoFundMe page, the tavern Barr and his wife owned was also destroyed by the fire.
Their church created the fundraising page to help cover the cost of the funeral and to support the family during this difficult time. At the time of this writing, more than $161,000 has been raised from nearly 3,000 donors, far surpassing its $75,000 goal.
Watt, a Waukesha, Wisconsin native and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is the son of a former firefighter, and acted quickly when a woman tweeted him asking for his support.
@JJWatt please do what you can for Cory Barr’s family. He was very well known, liked & appreciated in the Sun Prairie community. He was brave and a true hero! Any & all support from one fellow fire fighter family to another! #RIPCaptCoryBarr #firefamily https://t.co/oEE9aCNPqW
— Jenna Blaser (@jennnn_bunny) July 11, 2018
He simply listed “Justin Watt” when filling out donation information, and probably realized that word of his contribution would spur others to give as well.
He has not made any formal comments about the donation, but it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise. He helped raise more than $37 million after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, which caused more than $100 billion in damage. The giant effort he’s made to help individuals and communities in need earned him the 2017 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
Is there a more likeable guy in the NFL right now? No matter who you root for on Sundays, it’s hard not to give this guy a standing ovation throughout the year.