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J.J. Watt thinks more than 200,000 people also deserve the award.

By Chris Chavez
December 05, 2017

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was named the 2017 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year and was profiled for the latest issue of the magazine by Robert Klemko. Houston Astros star Jose Altuve will share the honor with Watt.

Watt is the first NFL player to win the award since Peyton Manning won in 2013. Watt is out for the season with a knee injury but earned the award for his work in raising more than $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

In August, the storm devastated Houston and left much of the southeast Texas area flooded. His fundraising campaign began just says after the storm with an initial goal of raising $200,000 but easily surpassed that mark. More than 200,000 people donated to the campaign before Watt closed the donation phase and moved to distributing the money.

Watt has divided $30.15 million of the donations for Americares, Feeding America, SBP and Save the Children. The last $7 million will be saved for 2018 when Watt's group will assess the continuing relief efforts.

Watt will accept the award at the Sportsperson of the Year ceremony in New York City on Tuesday night.

Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson Of The Year: By The Numbers

In Klemko's story, Watt says that he doesn't believe he deserves to win the honor since "all he did was ask people for money."

"All I did was give people a way to help," Watt said. "If I'm going to get an award, I feel like over 200,000 other people should, too. I also feel like the Astros did much more in the sporting realm to help this city."

Altuve and the Astros won the 2017 World Series in November when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. It marked the franchise's first World Series victory.

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