The star defensive end, stranded in Dallas Sunday because the team could not not return to flooded Houston from its preseason game in New Orleans the previous day, launched a YouCaring.com page and made a heartfelt plea for donors on social media, USA Today reported.
“I know that there’s going to be a whole bunch of people that we need to help get back on their feet,” he said. “I know there’s going to be a lot we need to do to help rebuild.”
Fans quickly raised the first $100,000 that Watt pledged to match. Four hours in, the website crashed but its CEO told the Texans it was increasing bandwidth to meet the demand, according to Sports Illustrated.
As of early Monday, donations had surpassed $290,000.
“Incredible to see so many people come together on this,” Watt told SI.