Texans' J.J. Watt calls out autograph forger, sends fan swag for charity



March 2 (UPI) — All-World defender J.J. Watt recently helped out a charity auction by sending in authentic signed gear after someone forged his signature on a football.

The four-time All-Pro and three-time Defensive Player of the Year made things right on Thursday when a Twitter user tagged him in a photo.

“One time for @JJWatt…Heroes for Children Top Golf Charity,” the Twitter user wrote.

The white Houston Texans football read “JJ Watts. 99.”

“It is Heroes for Children’s mission to help families who have a child battling cancer in the state of Texas, and we would never want to do anything to compromise that,” the charity said in a statement Thursday. “Today we hosted our annual golf tournament in Houston. A donor of Heroes for Children donated two footballs and a baseball to be used as a raffle to benefit our organization at the event.”

“It has been brought to our attention that these were not authentic items, and we are beyond embarrassed and disappointed to have misrepresented their authenticity. We are refunding the donation and will return the items appropriately. In the future, we will go through the proper steps to ensure authenticity.”

After the charity and numerous social media users called out the fake signature, Watt injected himself into the conversation.

“Man, whoever faked my signature on that ball didn’t even know how to spell my name! DM me an address and I’ll send you a proper signed ball to auction off,” Watt tweeted. “We can’t have people doing charity like that.”

Heroes for Children advocates for and provides financial and social assistance to families with children (0-22 years of age) with cancer, according to the charity’s website.

Watt was named the 2017 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year in February after helping to raise more than $37 million for people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“This award is about the inherent good that lies within humanity,” Watt said after receiving the award at the NFL Honors in Minneapolis. “It’s about the city of Houston and its ability to overcome adversity at a time when it all seemed lost. It is about the hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country and all over the world who donated to a city they may have never been to, to people that they may never meet. But they donated simply because they saw their fellow humans going through a difficult time and they wanted to help out.

“I cannot express how humbled and honored that I am to be mentioned in the same sentence as Walter Payton. A man who did everything right not only on the field but also off of it.”

Watt, 28, is entering his eighth NFL season. He did not miss a start in his first five seasons, but has made just eight starts combined in the last two years. He is signed with the Texans through 2021.

Autographed Watt gear is being sold for as much as $3,000 on eBay.



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