Texans J.J. Watt wins Walter Payton Man of the Year Award
It was announced Saturday that Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. The news broke last night.
Afterwards Watt tweeted in reaction to winning the award.
Watt’s on the field success was limited this season. Watt appeared in five games for the Texans this season before suffering a season ending tibial plateau fracture. However this award is not awarded for on field success. This is an award that is presented to those who achieve excellence off the field.
J.J. Watt after Hurricane Harvey
Watt’s efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is why he won the award. After the devastation from the hurricane, Houston was in need of relief. Looking to make an impact and raise money, Watt initially sought out to raise $200,000. Watt raised over $37 million to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
The distribution of funds will aid in the rebuilding of homes and take care of healthcare needs in the area. $31.5 million has already been spent in 2017. The remaining $7+ million will be used in 2018. The Justin J. Watt Foundation will determine the best way to use the funds in the future.
How this made J.J. Watt the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
The award is presented to those who exhibit the humanitarian spirit of Walter Payton. Volunteer and charity work is essential in determining the recipient of the award. The group that selects the award consists of Roger Goodell, Connie Payton , the previous winner and former award winners. Watt has been awarded a $50,000 donation in his name to the charity of his choosing.
Watt’s selection as the award winner is due to his efforts to help those affected by the hurricane. As a result of these efforts the group that selects the award winner determined Watt to be worthy of this honor.
More recognition for his efforts
Watt also received the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award. Watt shared the award with fellow Houston athlete Jose Altuve. This shows that not only does the NFL recognize his efforts but other outlets outside of football do as well. This shows the overall impact Watt has on the world with his efforts.
Watt did not perform his charity work for personal recognition. Watt’s work was due to the people who were affected by that natural disaster needing help. Even if Watt was not given this award it would not stop him from doing everything he can to help the people in the greater Houston area.