J.J. Watt Emotionally Hoists Texas Flag at Houston Home Opener After Raising Millions for Harvey Relief

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Photo: Getty Images

After a 2016 season lost to injury, J.J. Watt made his return to the football field on Sunday, and it was even more emotional than anyone could have expected.

The celebrated Texans linebacker hoisted the Lone Star State flag as he made his way out of the tunnel for his team’s home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars -- a game that almost didn’t happen in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s devastating blow to the city of Houston.

Many celebrities and athletes have stepped up in the wake of Harvey’s destructive winds and lethal flooding, but perhaps none moreso than Watt, whose YouCaring campaign has raised over $31 million at press time to help rebuild the city and the lives of its citizens. And the four-time Pro Bowler wore his heart on his sleeve as well as his cleats, stepping out in custom Texas flag shoes as he got a hero’s welcome from the Houston crowd.

Unfortunately, the game didn’t go in the Texans’ favor, with the Jaguars earning a 29-7 win on the strength of their own defense, but Watt still has plenty to be proud of (even if he didn’t show it in his post-game presser).

Day after day, celebrities continue to come together to help out victims of this summer’s devastating storms. On Tuesday, Beyonce, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey and many others are teaming up to participate in Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief, a one-hour telethon that will air live at 8 p.m. ET across several networks.

For more on how to help/donate to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, please click here.