A woman tweeted that she sold a pair of JJ Watt-edition shoes and a sweater to raise money for her grandfather’s funeral.
Then Watt, the star of the Arizona Cardinals’ defense, stepped in himself.
Jennifer Simpson, a Texas teacher, tweeted Wednesday if anyone would be interested in purchasing the shoes.
“I have a pair of @JJWatt women’s edition of Reebok shoes size 9 $60. I’ve worn them twice. They’re great shoes, I’m only selling them because we’re raising money for my grandfather’s funeral,” Simpson tweeted. “I also have a Watt XL Women’s Texans Jersey $30. Anyone interested?”
Watt retweeted Simpson’s post the same day, telling her to hold onto the shoes and sweater.
“Don’t sell your shoes and sweater, we’ll help with the funeral. I’m sorry for your loss,” Watt wrote.
Watt’s tweet had garnered more than 243,700 likes by the end of Sunday afternoon.
In a reply, Simpson said she wished she could tell Watt what she had been through.
“I love you damn much man. It’s been a tough year for me, and the past month has been tough since death. I wish I could tell you my story,” Simpson wrote.
Simpson’s grandfather Jerry Roderick died unexpectedly on June 20, according to her aunt Tara Roderick.
Roderick told NBC’s “TODAY” show that the family had no idea the tweet would catch the attention of Watt himself.
“We weren’t expecting anything,” says Roderick. “We just expected that maybe another fan would want to buy that jersey or shoes.”
At first, the family was skeptical, but then Watt sent the money to Simpson via PayPal.
“Then Jennifer sent me a screenshot where he had sent money via PayPal,” Roderick said. “I almost died. He said he was sorry for our loss and gave his donation.”
Roderick said the funeral expenses were paid off. The family works to pay the cost of the cemetery.
“I’d like to talk to JJ myself, because what he’s done has eased a small burden, knowing that after a month, we can let my dad rest,” Roderick said.