Cardinals' J.J. Watt to cover funeral cost for people killed in Waukesha tragedy

Written By Brandon Schlager
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(Getty Images)

As much as JJ Watt's play over the course of his career has told his story, often so too has his generosity in times of need.

His philanthropic efforts are on display once again after he agreed to cover the funeral costs of the six people who died in the Waukesha parade attack after a car drove into the crowd at a Christmas parade.

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Watt, a Wisconsin native and Badger alum, has taken similar measures before. In 2018, he offered to cover the funeral costs of the people who died in the Santa Fe High School shooting and when Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston and the Gulf region, Watt raised $37 million out of a goal of $200,000 to help rebuild the area.

But his charitable work isn't solely monetary in nature.

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Watt has dressed up as Batman to surprise children in a Houston hospital, donated game-worn merchandise to the families of victims in the Sandy Hook shooting and is also known for his work with veterans groups.

In addition to Watt's three Defensive Player of the Year awards and five First Team All-Pro honors he's garnered, he was also named the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year by the NFL, given annually to honor a player's volunteer and charity work.

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Currently a defensive end with the Cardinals, Watt joined Arizona in March 2021, signing a two-year, $28 million deal. He suffered a shoulder injury that was originally thought to be season-ending, though the Cardinals have not ruled out Watt's return for later this season.

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