(Photo by Rashad Milliganf for Steed Media ) Simone Manuel, the first Black woman to win an individual gold in the Olympics for swimming, adjusts swim cap before the preliminary meet.

Professional athletes have taken it upon themselves to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt started a fund that surpassed its original goal of $500K, thanks to the donations of new Houston Rocket Chris Paul and Watt. The goal was pushed to $1.5M as of late Monday night. So many visitors came to Watt’s page to donate, it even crashed.

“It’s a little over 9 p.m. here in Dallas, we’re still stuck here,” Watt said in a Twitter video. “Obviously roads are too flooded, airports are closed, there’s no way for us to get back, but we’re watching on TV and seeing all of the police and firemen and the everyday citizens out there in their boats helping to rescue people, helping to save lives, it’s incredible to watch. To give you an update, we just passed the $1 million mark, which is phenomenal. [Five dollars] here, $10 there, [there are] just donations from all over.”

Paul was with the New Orleans Hornets during the 2005-06 when Hurricane Katrina hit. Kenny Smith and the NBA threw a charity game of some of the league’s biggest stars to raise money for the New Orleans victims in Houston, which included Paul. The Hornets played in Oklahoma City that season.

Olympian gold medalist swimmer Simone Manuel is a Houston native and has live-tweeted updates of the Hurrican from her perspective at home.

Former Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard tweeted a link to the top charities to donate to as well his thoughts.

Current Rocket James Harden also asked for people’s prayers as well.

LSU’s football season-opener has been relocated to the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Texans preseason game against the Cowboys has been relocated to Dallas. Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson tweeted out another way victims could be helped.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said that the team is dedicating this season to the city of Houston.

Rashad Milligan

Rashad Milligan is a news reporter at the Douglas County Sentinel. He was once the sports editor for Georgia State's student newspaper, The Signal.