NFL star J.J. Watt offers to cover the cost of a funeral after woman tweets about selling shoes to raise money
A woman tweeted that she was selling a pair of J.J. Watt-edition shoes and a jersey to raise money for her grandfather's funeral.
Then, Watt, the Arizona Cardinals’ star defensive end, stepped in himself.
Jennifer Simpson, a Texas teacher, tweeted Wednesday asking whether anyone would be interested in buying the shoes.
“I have a pair of @JJWatt womens edition of Reebok shoes size 9 $60. I’ve worn them twice. They are great shoes, im only selling because we are raising money for my grandpas funeral,” Simpson tweeted. “I also have a Watt womens XL Texans Jersey $30. Anyone interested?”
Watt retweeted Simpson's post the same day, telling her to hold on to the shoes and the jersey.
"Don’t sell your shoes and jersey, we’ll help with the funeral. I’m sorry for your loss," Watt wrote.
Watt's tweet had racked up more than 243,700 likes by late Sunday afternoon.
In a reply, Simpson said she wished she could tell Watt all she had been through.
"I freaking love you man. It’s been a hard year for me, and this last month has been hard since the death. I wish I could tell you my story," Simpson wrote.
Simpson's grandfather Jerry Roderick died unexpectedly on June 20, according to her aunt Tara Roderick.
Roderick told NBC’s “TODAY” show that the family had no clue the tweet would get the attention of Watt himself.
“We did not expect anything,” Roderick said. “We were just expecting that maybe another fan would want to buy that jersey or shoes.”
At first the family was skeptical, but then Watt sent the funds to Simpson by PayPal.
“Then Jennifer sent me a screenshot where he had sent money through PayPal,” Roderick said. “I almost died. He said he was sorry for our loss and gave his donation.”
Roderick said the funeral costs had been paid off. The family is working to pay for the cemetery costs.
"I would love to talk to J.J. myself, because what he has done has lifted a little burden knowing we can lay my dad to rest after a month,” Roderick said.
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