- The Washington Times - Monday, August 28, 2017

From Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams to Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, athletes across the country and across sports are weighing in with support for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Williams, a Houston resident in the offseason, grew up in Longview, Texas, and said Sunday his family had evacuated the city and was safe.

“The power is off, it’s kind of hard to get in contact with people but for the most part, most of the flooding is in the inner city and most of the people I know live on the outside,” Williams said.

Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins and defensive lineman Joey Mbu also have ties to Houston and they took to Twitter to express their thoughts. Mbu, who went to the University of Houston, tweeted, “Not gonna lie, Houston was on my mind the whole game” after the team’s win over the Bengals.

Hopkins, who grew up near Houston and went to Clear Lake High School there, also said his family was safe and offered prayers for those still trying to flee, find shelter or salvage their belongings.

According to some estimates, the storm could end up dumping as much as 50 inches of rain on the Houston area.

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon donned cleats dedicated to Houston on Sunday for MLB’s Players Weekend. The shoes had been designed in advance, but took on new meaning after the storm. Rendon grew up in Houston and went to college at Rice University.

Rendon said he’s been stressed talking with his family, who evacuated their home Monday.

“I called my parents this morning and it’s just frustrating just hearing the voice from my mom and from my dad and my brother,” Rendon said. “Just knowing that you can’t be down there, it actually hit me this morning just because they were saying the water is creeping up to their garage now.”

The sports world has also stepped up to provide help and express solidarity with the city, while leagues have also had to make adjustments.

Watt appeared in a video Sunday, announcing the donation of $100,000 to an online fundraiser the All-Pro created. The effort had raised more than $500,000 on Monday.

The Texans also pledged $1 million to a Harvey disaster relief fund, an amount matched by the NFL Foundation.

The NFL late Monday moved Thursday’s Texans-Cowboys preseason game from Houston to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The storm-displaced Texans are already in Dallas at Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ invitaiton, practicing at their in-state rival’s facilities.

Other teams and leagues are also reconfiguring schedules while the Houston area deals with the flood crisis.

The University of Houston is practicing for its season opener at the University of Texas, where former Houston coach Tom Herman is now the football coach in Austin.

Major League Baseball said the Astros’ upcoming home series against the Texas Rangers, which starts Tuesday, will be played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The league and the MLBPA will also donate $1 million in relief aid.

The Astros will also see the following series against the New York Mets shifted to Tropicana Field. The two series against the Rangers and Mets would have the Astros facing a 19-game road trip.

Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander announced he will donate $4 million to the city.

Nora Princiotti contributed to this report.

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