SI’s Athletes of the Year are Houston Strong

SI’s Athletes of the Year are Houston Strong

SI’s Athletes of the Year are Houston Strong

Some might call 2017 the “year of the athlete”. With declining viewership and sales, the NFL has chosen to placate those few athletes who see nothing wrong with putting their desire to protest during the National Anthem above the good of their teams, those they play with and the league. GQ awarded Colin Kaepernick, former pro football quarterback and self-proclaimed founder of the protest, as it’s “Citizen” of the Year for his “bravery” in protesting police brutality and injustice. Sports Illustrated reminds us there are still athletes who put their community and their team ahead of themselves with their “Houston Strong” Athletes of the Year — J.J. Watt and José Altuve.

Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the YearTogether, Houston Astro José Altuve and Texan J.J. Watt did amazing work to aid in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, volunteering, raising money, and inspiring people in the midst of devastation.” What better qualifications for Athlete of the Year are there?

In introducing Watt and Altuve, SI said it wanted “ 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 about their crafts.” Who better than Watt, the pro football player responsible for raising more than $37 million to help aid those impacted by Hurricane Harvey? “Nothing J.J. Watt has achieved in his career, or might still achieve, will measure up to what he did for Houston,” says MMQB Editor-in-Chief Peter King.

As for Altuve, his story, according to SI, is “an inspirational one, a classic tale of an underestimated athlete overcoming the longest of odds. . . the joyous catalyst for one of the most unlikely World Series runs in recent memory. Championships don’t save communities, and we should be careful to assign too much weight to their powers of healing. But what other event can bring a million-plus people together and provide a platform, however ephemeral, to cast aside the differences that drive so many of us to sports in the first place?”

Both Watt and Altuve worked tirelessly to aid the Houston area after it was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. Watt, whose season with the Houston Texans ended early due to injury, challenged all of us to open our hearts and wallets to help those who needed it most. He became the voice for those who lost so much, raising more money than any ever expected.

Jose Altuve
Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle

As with Watt, Altuve went to work doing what he could to help Houston as well. Many will say he was the spark the Astros needed to help them win the World Series. But it goes beyond that. He helped recognize Watt’s contribution to helping their “hometown”, naming Watt an honorary Astro He also continues, months after Harvey, to pick up a hammer and help rebuild homes destroyed by the hurricane.

Both men are excellent examples of athletes putting action to words. They are serving their communities, their teams and themselves in the best way possible. They go beyond giving lip service to some cause — or demanding the league do so. Sports Illustrated says it well when it ends its article with the following: ‘The stories of these two athletes who care represent two very different paths, but they led to the same destination: #HoustonStrong. Congratulations to J.J. Watt and José Altuve, our 2017 Sportsperson of the Year honorees.”

Two men from two sports who put aside ego and self-promotion to concentrate on their communities and those in need. Men who have let their actions speak loudly and clearly for the good. Well done, Mr. Watt and Mr. Altune. Well done. You are heroes to your community and well-deserving of being called not just “Athletes of the Year” but “Persons of the Year”.

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  • Scott says:

    Good on em! Very nice to see a story about athletes somewhere other than the police blotter, or a leftist opinion piece…If more athletes took this route, the world would be a better place.

    • Amanda Green says:

      I was thrilled with the selection. I wish the media paid more attention to those athletes who do spend so much time, money and effort to help their communities. There are a number of them but they don’t get the spotlight like the criminals or the protesters. It really is too bad.

      • Scott says:

        No doubt. If Colon Craperdick would put his money where his overly large mouth is, instead of kneeling to protest the white privilege he benefited from when a white couple adopted him because his crack whore “mother” and criminal baby daddy couldn’t support him, i’d have some respect for him.. as it is, him and GQ can die a slow death…

  • GWB says:

    YAY! \o/
    Good men, appropriately recognized.

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