For the Patriots organization and their fans, Houston holds a special place in their heart. For a variety of reasons. Whether it’s the bevy of former players and coaches on their team. Or perhaps it is the fact that the Patriots have won two Super Bowls in Houston. Most recently this past February. Houston generally brings a smile to a New Englanders face.
Unfortunately, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has brought Houston into the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Members of the NFL fraternity have already come forward to help the city, including Texans owner, Bob McNair, and the Dallas Cowboys organization. Now you can count Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, among that group. Kraft has pledged to match the donations to the American Red Cross, up to $1 Million.
“Houston is a special city to our family and our organization,” said Patriots owner Robert Kraft via Patriots.com. “The New England Patriots and our fans have celebrated two of our franchise’s greatest and most memorable moments in Houston. The city was a tremendous host for Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 and once again this past February for Super Bowl LI. Houston could not have provided more support to us during those visits, and we welcome the opportunity to provide this support when Houston needs it most”
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“When natural disasters have impacted our country, they have always unified communities and rallied support throughout the nation,” Kraft added. “We have already heard stories of heroic rescues and strangers helping strangers in this time of need. These stories have inspired us, as we always encourage bringing communities together, building bridges and helping others. We are eager to join in these efforts and provide our support.”
The Patriots organization released a statement concerning the hurricane relief efforts:
The New England Patriots are deeply saddened by the news of the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Harvey over the weekend in Texas, especially in the greater Houston area,” the press release states. “In an effort to provide much needed financial support to a community where they have family members and many friends, the Kraft family is offering to match all funds donated to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund up to $1 million.
Former Patriots offensive coordinator and current Texans head coach, Bill O’Brien, echoed the importance of the donations.
“These dollars will be put to go use in the relief and recovery efforts,” said O’Brien via NFL.com. “We also hope our actions will encourage others to do whatever they can to help their neighbors in need right now.”
Texans’ star, J.J. Watt shares the same sentiment as his coach as he has helped raise over $1 Million for Hurricane Harvey relief. (You can help them reach their goal of $1.5 Million and beyond by clicking here).
Hopefully other players will follow the lead of Watt, as well as other owners should follow the example set by Bob McNair and Robert Kraft. Some real world events transcend sports and when that event affects a rich and strong sports community, the key figures within that community can play a large role in rebuilding their city.
Interested in donating to the relief effort? Check out these links:
– Ian Glendon is a National Co-Editor for cover32 and the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots. He covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on Follow @iglen31 Follow @cover32_NE and Facebook.