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J.J. Watt quietly donates $10,000 to family of firefighter killed in explosion

J.J. Watt with his Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. (AP)

Shortly after a GoFundMe account was started to benefit the family of a Wisconsin firefighter killed by an explosion, someone took a shot and asked Wisconsin-born J.J. Watt for a donation.

Cory Barr, a captain in the Sun Prairie Fire Department in Wisconsin, was killed in an explosion Tuesday night that was caused by a gas leak. Not only was Barr killed, one of the buildings that was destroyed in the explosion was the Barr House restaurant and bar owned by Barr and his wife, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. 

A GoFundMe was started to take donations for Barr’s wife and two daughters. And on Twitter, Jenna Blaser asked the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year for help.


Soon after, a $10,000 donation was made from one of the NFL’s biggest stars.

Watt delivers a big donation

Watt didn’t announce his donation on social media, or call any attention to it. There was just a donation, alongside the $100 and $50 donations from all over, for $10,000 from Justin Watt, J.J.’s given name.

(GoFundMe screen shot)

The goal of the campaign was to raise $15,000. In the first four hours almost $40,000 was raised.

What’s Watt’s connection to Cory Barr?

There are two connections to the story for Watt. He was born and raised in Pewaukee, Wis., about an hour from Sun Prairie. Also, Watt’s father was a firefighter for 28 years.

Watt’s charity work is a part of his celebrity. He raised more than $37 million for people in Houston affected by Hurricane Harvey. In 2016, similar to Wednesday’s donation, he gave $10,000 to a GoFundMe account for a Texas high school player who needed emergency brain surgery following an injury suffered in a game.

During a horrendous time for the Sun Prairie community, maybe it will provide a bit of comfort that Watt was willing to help out.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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