Two of Houston's All-Stars are getting the recognition they deserve this morning. Sports Illustrated named Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve as its Sportsperson of the Year on Monday for their contributions in helping the city of Houston rise from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. The honor recognizes athletes for on-field and humanitarian achievements.
J.J. Watt raised over 37 million dollars to help assist those affected after the storm. Watt served as a beacon for what an athlete can do with their platform beyond sports. As Peter King, Editor in Chief of The MMQB, points out, “Nothing J.J. Watt has achieved in his career, or might still achieve, will measure up to what he did for Houston.”
As soon as Altuve helped get the Astros their first world series win, he put down his bat and picked up a hammer--rebuilding homes with Habitat for Humanity. Altuve becomes the first player in Astros history to win the SI Sportsperson of the Year award, which was created in 1954 and bestowed upon the athletes, team or coach who transcended the year in sports by achieving the highest level of athletic excellence while demonstrating the ideals of sportsmanship.
“It’s more than just two people,” Watt told host Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” Monday. “It’s a whole city.”
“We will remember 2017 as much for what athletes strove to achieve off the field as for what they achieved on it,” said Chris Stone, Editorial Director of Sports at Time Inc. “While J.J. and José represent two very different paths, they both led to the same destination: #HoustonStrong. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of SI’s original ‘Athletes Who Care’ Sportsperson of the Year honor, which recognizes players who transcended sport alone. This year once again we celebrate a new generation of athletes who care, in all senses of the word: caring about humanitarian efforts, about social and political justice, about their communities and about their crafts.”