JJ Watt leading on and off the field

There’s not a lot that needs to be said about the athletic ability of Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. Since entering the NFL in 2011, he has become one of the most dominant and formidable defensive forces in the NFL. But some of J.J.’s best work is done off the field. When he’s not sacking the top quarterbacks in the league, J.J. devotes his time to his fans and those in need. For these reasons, J.J. is my Athlete CRUSH and someone who undoubtedly makes the world a better place for many people.

It’s bigger than just a game.

A photo posted by JJ Watt (@justinjames99) on

On Christmas Eve 2015, while most people were spending time with their families, Watt took the time to visit a local hospital and spend time with children and families that would not be able to enjoy the holidays at home. This was not the first time J.J. has gone out of his way to spread joy to others. As the host of an annual softball fundraiser, Watt has been acknowledged by his peers for his service to the community, with the Texans nominating him for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, and the NFL recognizing his efforts with a Salute to Service.

Furthermore, in 2010, J.J. established the Justin J. Watt Foundation to help middle schools in Texas and Wisconsin develop suitable after-school athletics programs for students. Watt displays his ability to not only be a good Role Model to children (this boy even has J.J. Watt socks on!), but also to his teammates and other NFL athletes on a daily basis.

In addition to all he has already done for the community, JJ Watt also played a massive role by raising over $37 million for relief efforts caused by hurricane Harvey in August. Hard to believe he blew by his initial goal of $200,000 in just one day! As a result, he quickly set a new benchmark of $10 million dollars which he also surpassed by a large amount. Consequently, JJ was named the 2017 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year for his actions within the affected community in Houston.

In light of the tragic Santa Fe high school shooting on May 18th, 2018, Watt offered to pay the funeral costs for the victims. JJ then spent a majority of the following week visiting students being treated for gunshot wounds in a local hospital. This only shows the devotion Watt has for helping those in need; never hesitating to lend a hand in order to benefit the community. (Click here to find out which athletes supported  the “March for our lives” gun reform protest http://www.athletecrush.com/american-football/athletes-march-for-our-lives-athlete-crush/)

Watt’s actions on and off the field are evidence of his true Character and make him so likable. As an NFL fan, I think it’s great that one of the best players in the league is also charitable. I wish more athletes devoted time to the fans who care so much about them and to the communities that make their lives comfortable and enjoyable. 

Currently, I support his foundation and attending one of the Charity Classic games is on my bucket list. From a female standpoint, viewing NFL players on the field doesn’t inspire me to go play football, however, witnessing someone like J.J. Watt assist and motivate younger generations inspires me to give back to others. I hope Watt continues to succeed on the field and proceeds to strengthen his relationship with fans and inspire individuals in the community for many years to come.

Follow J.J. Watt on Instagram @JUSTINJAMES99 and Twitter @JJWatt 

Follow the author Brandi Johnson on Instagram @Brandix17 and Twitter @bran_john99

Posted 23 May 2018