Touched by Uvalde, Bo Jackson donated to pay for the funeral

AUSTIN, Texas – Former sports superstar Bo Jackson helped pay for the funerals of 19 children and two teachers killed in the Uvalde school massacre in May, revealing himself as one of the anonymous donors covering family expenses after one of the deadliest shootings in the classroom of the United States. history.

Jackson, whose rare success in both the NFL and the Major Leagues made him one of the greatest and most marketable athletes of the 1980s and 1990s, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he felt compelled to support the families of the victims after the loss of tan. many children.

“I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting old,” said Jackson, a father of three and a grandfather as he approaches 60. “It’s not right for parents to bury their children. It’s just not okay.

“I know all the families there probably work just to do what they do. … The last thing they needed was to shell out thousands of dollars for something that should never happen.”


Jackson said he felt a personal connection to the city he went through many times. Uvalde was a regular stop for something to eat or shop before a long drive west to visit a friend’s ranch on hunting trips.

It was his familiarity with the feel of Uvalde’s main street, the leafy town square and the people he had met at those stops that touched his heart when the news of the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary broke. Law enforcement was harshly criticized for taking more than an hour to enter the classroom where the 18-year-old gunman carried out the attack, and a Texas House investigation report blamed the school district, saying a lax, erratic alert culture. the unlocked system and doors also contributed.


Three days later, Jackson and a close friend flew to Uvalde, met briefly with Gov. Greg Abbott, and presented a $ 170,000 check with an offer to pay all funeral expenses.

Abbott announced it as an anonymous donation during a press conference on May 27 about the help the state was giving to the victims.

“We didn’t want media,” he said. “No one knew we were there.”

And although Jackson suggested he didn’t keep it a secret, until this week he hadn’t spoken publicly about what prompted him to make the trip to Uvalde and the donation.

“Uvalde is a town that stays in your head. Just the name, “Jackson said.” I don’t know a soul there. It just touched me. “

Jackson refused to name the friend who went with him and also contributed to the donation.

Other fundraising efforts have raised millions since then to help families, and local funeral homes have said they would not charge families for services. But Jackson’s donation was a first highlight for grieving families.


Abbott’s office said Jackson’s money “went quickly to cover funeral costs” through OneStar, a nonprofit organization created to promote volunteerism and community service in Texas, including Uvalde’s relief efforts. .

“The true spirit of our nation is the Americans who stand up to each other in times of need and hardship,” Abbott said. “In a truly selfless act, Bo covered all the funeral expenses of the victims’ families so that they had one less thing to worry about while they were in mourning.”

Jackson said he followed news coverage of the funeral, but declined to say if he was in direct contact with any of the families.

The day of the shooting, Jackson tweeted, “America … please, let’s stop all the nonsense. Pray for all victims. If you hear something, say something. We must not bury our children. I am praying for all the families across the country who have lost loved ones to senseless shootings. This cannot continue “.


However, when asked to explain “This can’t go on,” Jackson declined, saying only that he wrote what he meant.

“I don’t want to turn this into anything (but) what it is. I was just trying (with the donation) to put some sun in someone’s cloud, a very dark cloud,” Jackson said.

But he also noted the regularity of mass shootings in the country.

“The last thing you want to hear is that there’s an active shooter at your child’s school,” he said. “It’s happening everywhere now.”

Uvalde was not Jackson’s first large-scale act of philanthropy. He organizes an annual bike ride in his home state of Alabama to raise money for disaster relief funds, an effort that began after tornadoes killed nearly 250 people. Uvalde’s donation was his first in response to a mass shooting.

“They’re the kids. … They’re the kids. … They’re the kids,” Jackson said, pausing before each rehearsal to meet. “If it doesn’t bother you, something happens to you.”



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Touched by Uvalde, Bo Jackson donated to pay for the funeral

Source link Touched by Uvalde, Bo Jackson donated to pay for the funeral

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