Bo Jackson helps pay funeral costs for Uvalde victims originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Bo Jackson helped pay funeral costs for the 19 children and two teachers who were killed in the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting in May. The NFL and MLB legend revealed himself as a previously anonymous donor.
“I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting old,” Jackson, 59, told The Associated Press. “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.”
Jackson, who was born in Alabama and went to college at Auburn, said he felt a connection to Uvalde, a city he has traveled through before to visit his friend’s ranch.
“Uvalde is a town that sticks in your mind. Just the name,” Jackson said. “I don’t know a soul there. It just touched me.”
Jackson and a close friend flew to Uvalde shortly after the shooting at Robb Elementary, met with Gov. Greg Abbott and offered a check of $170,000 to cover all funeral costs. Jackson declined to name the friend who joined him in Uvalde and added to the financial contribution.
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“The true spirit of our nation is Americans lifting up one another in times of need and hardship,” Abbott said. “In a truly selfless act, Bo covered all funeral expenses for the victims’ families so they would have one less thing to worry about as they grieved.”
Jackson’s philanthropic efforts extend back to his home state. He holds an annual event called “Bo Bikes Bama,” which raises money for the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund. Still, the Uvalde school shooting struck a different cord for him.
“It’s the children. … It’s the children. … It’s the children,” Jackson told The Associated Press. “If it doesn’t bother you, something’s wrong with you.”
Jackson was a two-sport star during his professional career. He played for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox and California Angels during his eight MLB seasons, making one All-Star team. In the NFL, he played four seasons with the Oakland Raiders and was named to one Pro Bowl.
For more information on how to donate to relief efforts in Uvalde, click here.