On August 27, NFL superstar J.J. Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans, launched a campaign with a relatively modest goal: raising $200,000 for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. That goal was achieved in less than two hours. Now, only three days later, the flood relief fund reached the mark of $5.1 million and the goal was raised again to $6 million.

Watt is managing the whole campaign through Twitter, where he is followed by 3.93 million users.

Among his followers, there are other sports stars, such as basketball player Chris Paul from the Houston Rockets, who donated $50,000 and was praised by Watt.

Solidarity even among rivals

Challenging times can bring the best out of people, and campaigns like Watt’s one demonstrate that solidarity may be practiced even when there is a rivalry on the pitch. The Tennessee Titans donated $1 million to Watt’s flood relief fund, and said on Twitter: “The NFL is a family that helps one another in times of need.”

Watt seemed grateful with the gesture of solidarity by the Tennessee and thanked the owner of the Titans Amy Adams Strunk on a video published on his Twitter account.

"Ms. Amy Adams Strunk, a $1 million donation. That's from a team in our division, one of our rivals, but stepping up for the greater good of the people."

On another video, Watt stated that he will do everything to make the money reach those who are really in need as soon as possible.

Other donations

Throughout the week, several other donations were made for other institutions and fundraisers. Large sums of money came from the sports world. The Houston Texans, where Watt plays, and the NFL Foundation donated $1 million each to the United Way of Greater Houston Flood Relief Fund.

The New England Patriots are also contributing.

The 2017 Super Bowl winner donated $1 million dollars to the American Red Cross.

According to Sports Illustrated, Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander decided to support the victims and the reconstruction with a $10 million dollar donation. From baseball, the biggest donation so far came from Houston Astros, a $4 million to help with the reconstruction of the affected areas.

Since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, the Houston Texans weren’t able to go back home. According to Sports Illustrated, they were training in Dallas, where they were supposed to play the Cowboys on Thursday night.

The NFL canceled the game so the Texans players could return to their families. Refunds for the tickets are available but anyone who chooses to not accept the refund will have their ticket cost donated to the victims.

The Tragedy

Hurricane Harvey hit Texas on August 26 and since then provoked destruction and floods in several cities, including Houston, the largest in the state. According to CNN, so far 32.000 people are in shelters across Texas.