The Texans football team and staff were diverted to Dallas following Saturday's preseason game at New Orleans, unable to travel to Houston in the midst of Hurricane Harvey.
While stuck in Dallas, J.J. Watt decided to start an online fundraiser to help Houston-area flood victims, using social media channels to get the word out for donations.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Watt's YouCaring page has raised $3.25 million and the goal has been increased to $4 million. In addition to donations all over the world and from celebrities such as actors Kevin Hart, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Drake, Watt also received $1 million from Tennessee Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk on Tuesday. This donation is in addition to the $25,000 the Titans Foundation donated to the Red Cross over the weekend.
"To see them pledge a million dollars, that's remarkable," Watt said Tuesday. "For a team in our division, for one of our rivals willing to go above and beyond football, to go above and beyond anything. To donate a million dollars is incredible. It speaks to humanity, it speaks to the good in people so I can't say thank you enough to the Titans organization and everybody over there and also everybody donating $5, $10, everybody donating whatever they can." Updated 8/28/17
Watt's fundraiser met the $500K goal Monday afternoon with the help of Chris Paul, the Houston Rockets All-Star guard. Paul, newly traded to Houston in June, donated $50,000 to Watt's relief effort. Watt announced on social media that he would continue raising money for Houston-area flood victims with a new goal of $1 million.
The three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year set out to reach a goal of $200,000, donating $100,000 himself. In a matter of hours, donations poured in from all over and Watt decided to keep the fundraiser going as Houston continues to deal with catastrophic flooding.
Watt's page is nearing the second goal, with $383,000 as of Monday morning.
"I think it's not only from the state of Texas, it's from all over the country, and I think that's something special about this country," Watt said Monday. "That's what this country is about, is helping each other when we're down, lifting each other up when we're down. I think we're in a time right now where obviously the City of Houston, the state of Texas especially, the southeastern part is down, so we need to help them as much as we possibly can. I think it's been unbelievable to see the amount of support people have shown."
The Texans practiced Monday and Tuesday at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys facility in Frisco, Texas. Due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, Thursday's preseason game with the Cowboys has been moved from NRG Stadium to AT&T Stadium.