Image Sourced: Sports Illustrated
Sometimes it’s not always about what you do on the field, but also what you accomplish off. JJ Watt, Defensive End for the Houston Texans, has just been named the 2017 Co-Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated, alongside José Altuve, Second Baseman for the Houston Astros. With the hashtag #HoustonStrong plastered across the cover of the latest issue, this award has most notably recognized these players for their tremendous efforts post Hurricane Harvey’s devastation to Texas in late August.
According to the editors, The Sportsperson of the Year award is “intended to celebrate a new generation of athletes who care, in all senses of the word: caring about humanitarian efforts, about social and political justice, about their communities and their crafts”.
J.J. suffered a season-ending tibial plateau fracture, just five weeks into a five month football season. In past years, the Sportsperson of the Year award has generally been given to phenomenal athletes that have either had or are having an outstanding season. J.J. was unable to play the majority of the season, but he still won this award due to his heroic efforts and fundraising off of the field — which goes to show the incredible impact that he has made after Harvey in just a short three months.
Take a look at his official statement below, taken off of the JJ Watt Foundation page.
It’s great to see when athletes succeed at their sport and post a great season with awesome numbers, but it’s even better to see them also tackling the greater challenges of the world. Given the voice that athletes have and their significant pull with the people of America, I look forward to seeing how fellow athletes will follow in the footsteps of someone like J.J. Watt.
Posted by Olivia