Retired Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson has covered all the funeral expenses for families of the victims from the mass shooting in May in Uvalde, Texas, which led to the deaths of 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School.
Jackson, one of the most famous two-sport stars in modern U.S. history (pro football with the Los Angeles Raiders, baseball with the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox), reportedly flew into Texas on May 27 — three days after the Uvalde massacre — and presented Gov. Greg Abbott with a check for $170,000 to cover the funeral expenses, according to Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin.
Also, to protect Jackson, Abbott initially said the $170,000 check had been an anonymous donation.
"We didn't want media," said Abbott, when speaking for Jackson, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "No one knew we were there."
Abbott also relayed a line from Jackson, saying the star wanted to help the Uvalde families, "so they would have one less thing to worry about as they grieved."
The governor then said: "The true spirit of our nation is Americans lifting up one another in times of need and hardship. We are truly grateful for the generosity of Texans and Americans like Bo Jackson, who have stepped up to help in the aftermath of the shooting at Robb Elementary School."
Abbott added, "When we asked people to support the Uvalde community in the days after, Bo did not hesitate in reaching out to my office to offer his help to the grieving families."
This week, Jackson, 59, told The Associated Press: "I don't know if it's because I'm getting old. It's just not right for parents to bury their kids. It's just not right. I know every family there probably works their butts off just to do what they do. ... The last thing they needed was to shell out thousands of dollars for something that never should have happened."
According to the Sun-Times, Jackson — a native of Bessemer, Alabama, who starred at Auburn University for college baseball and football (1982-85) — said he had a "personal connection" to the city he's driven through many times, a reference to Jackson drive-throughs when visiting Texas for hunting trips.
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