‘Hometown Hero’: J.J. Watt Steps Up to Cover All of the Funeral Costs for Waukesha Parade Attack Victims

Written by Kyle Becker
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NFL sackmaster J.J. Watt is stepping up once again to help fellow Americans in need. The Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman is vowing to cover the funeral costs for Waukesha parade attack victims.

“Just now seeing what happened at the holiday parade back home in Waukesha tonight,” he said. “Horrific images. Truly hoping everyone is going to be ok and those not involved are now safe. Thankful to everyone who rushed to action and helped the wounded.”

Sadly, another victim’s life was claimed by the suspected attacker Darrell Edward Brooks on Tuesday. An 8-year-old boy named Jackson Sparks passed away, according to his GoFundMe page.

“Eight-year-old Jackson Sparks, along with his 12-year-old brother, were both seriously hurt after a driver plowed through the Christmas parade Sunday, Nov. 21,” a local CBS affiliate reported. “Both boys were taken to Children’s Wisconsin for treatment.”

“According to the GoFundMe page, Jackson underwent brain surgery following the incident,” CBS noted. “Tuesday, Nov. 23, an update said Jackson succumbed to his injuries and passed away.” The GoFundMe account has recently passed $364,000 in donations.

The family issued a statement on the passing of little Jackson Sparks:

“Please know that they appreciate your continued prayers and tremendous outpouring of support for their family. They do however ask for privacy at this time to allow Tucker to continue to heal physically and their family to heal and mourn the tremendous loss of their sweet little boy who is now under the care of Jesus.”

“Five other people were killed during the parade tragedy, ranging in age from 52-81,” CBS noted. “Jackson will be the youngest victim added to the list — bringing the total to six.”

Six children at Children’s Wisconsin are still in “critical condition,” according to a news release from the hospital. A total of 13 children are still being treated at the hospital as of Tuesday evening. Sixteen children were initially admitted shortly after the parade attack.

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12-year-old Tucker Sparks and his brother Jackson Sparks both marched together with their baseball team in the Waukesha Christmas parade on Sunday.

“Jackson and Tucker were one of three sets of siblings that were being treated at Children’s, according to hospital officials,” CBS noted.

J.J. Watt is garnering a lot of praise for his act of charity.

“J.J. Watt is covering the funeral costs for everyone that lost their life in the Waukesha Christmas Parade,” author Cory Jennerjohn noted. “That is an amazing gesture. He has such a huge heart.”

“Amazing: Cardinals’ ⁦JJWatt offers to pay funeral costs for Waukesha Christmas parade victims,” Benny Johnson remarked.

“That’s awesome. Thank you, JJWatt,” Jason Whitlock remarked.

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“Watt is no stranger to philanthropy, nor is he a stranger to supporting his local community,” FanSided notes. “After Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, TX, the longtime Houston Texan raised $37 million for hurricane relief. Watt’s contributions earned him a Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination from his team, and Watt won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award following the 2017 season.”

J.J. Watt’s hometown is none other than Waukesha, Wisconsin.

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.