A few hours after 10 people were killed in a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe, Tex., on Friday, representatives of J.J. Watt, a defensive end for the Houston Texans, were on the phone with local leaders offering his help: He would pay for the victims’ funerals.
A Houston Texans team official said city leaders thought the offer “was very generous and special.” The official asked for anonymity because Mr. Watt was not looking to publicize the gesture.
The Texans said in a statement they were “saddened by the tragic events at Santa Fe High School” and extended “heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families and all those affected.” On Twitter, Mr. Watt described the shooting as “absolutely horrific.”
Most of the victims of the shooting were students. One victim was a Pakistani exchange student. At least one teacher was killed.
The authorities said 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire and later confessed to the killings, telling the police he had spared some students so that his story would be told. Students had just settled in for an art class when he began his lethal assault.
It’s not the first time that Mr. Watt has offered help to victims of a tragedy in Texas.
“It’s very tough to watch your city get hit by such a bad storm and not be there to help,” Mr. Watt said in a video that kicked off the hurricane relief campaign.
The Houston Texans said Mr. Watt doesn’t respond only to well-publicized crises. He has helped children with cancer and people who have lost loved ones.
“People would be shocked if they knew how much he did privately,” the team official said.
Mr. Watt won the N.F.L.’s 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year award for his Hurricane Harvey efforts. The award honors players who have had a positive impact on their community.
“This award is about the inherent good that lies within humanity,” he said after accepting the award.