HOUSTON – The Houston Texans have always raised money for the community. On Wednesday, they announced they’ve raised a total of $400,000 for those in Uvalde in the wake of the Robb Elementary School shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers.
Head coach Lovie Smith made the announcement during a media availability at Texans’ Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) on Wednesday.
“Our football team – a bunch of young men – wanted to make some type of statement, so they got together,” Smith said. “What can you do in tough times like this? You can try to make people’s lives a little bit better. Our football team got together, led by them, and raised over $200,000 dollars to try to help those people in the community. We’ll be giving that to the Robb (School) Memorial Fund down in Uvalde. Our organization, led by Cal & Hannah (McNair), will match that. So we’ll be donating $400,000 dollars to the community of Uvalde.”
Multiple Texans players said on Wednesday that the Uvalde tragedy hits close to home, not just because many players are parents too, but that Texans’ Director of Player Care/Head Athletic Trainer Roland Ramirez is from Uvalde, attended Robb Elementary, and knows some of the families affected by the tragedy.
“I can’t imagine taking my child to school where they’re supposed to be safe - that’s the safest place they could be - and you get a phone call from a principal or police officer saying there’s a shooting at the school,” linebacker Christian Kirksey said. “My heart goes out to all the parents and those families. No words can help the parents.
“They don’t have their children anymore. I’m a parent myself and I can’t imagine going through that and having to live with that the rest of my life, so I was definitely hurt by hearing that, and it’s in Texas, and that’s right down the road,” he said.
“It’s been a pleasure to be a part of, to see the generosity of my teammates,” running back Rex Burkhead added. “Not only my teammates, but the McNairs, the coaching staff, everyone doing whatever we can to help out the community in Uvalde. There’s a lot of people hurting there.”
The Texans also announced the players and staff will wear orange as a way of taking part in National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, June 3, and are encouraging their fans to join them in wearing orange on that day. For any interested in joining the Texans in contributing to the Robb School Memorial Fund, they can donate directly with First State Bank of Uvalde by check through mail (payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund”) or through Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Texans care about Texans, especially in times of triumph and tragedy,” Houston Texans Chair and CEO Cal McNair said in a Texans’ media release. “I’m so proud of our players for championing this effort and was inspired to support our neighbors in Uvalde alongside them. I also know we have a great responsibility to lend our voices to important and meaningful conversations that bring awareness to senseless gun violence.”