Former Raiders and MLB star Bo Jackson revealed this week that he had donated to help cover funeral costs for the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, earlier this year.
Jackson, who doesn’t have a real connection to the city other than having driven through it in the past while on hunting trips, said he just felt compelled to help after 19 students and two teachers were killed in May.
“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,” he told The Associated Press.
“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 said he and a friend flew to Uvalde three days after the shooting. He met with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott briefly before donating $170,000 to cover funeral expenses. Abbott only said they were covered by an anonymous donor, and while Jackson said he wasn’t keeping anything a secret, he didn’t publicly announce that he was part of it until now.
“We didn’t want media,” Jackson said, via The Associated Press. “No one knew we were there … Uvalde is just a town that sticks in your mind. Just the name. I don’t know a soul there. It just touched me.”
A gunman shot and killed 19 students and two teachers, and injured more than a dozen, on May 24 in Uvalde. The shooting was the deadliest at a school in the United States since the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut in 2012.
Law enforcement’s response to the shooting has been under fire in recent weeks and is the subject of several investigations. The shooting, along with several other high-profile shootings, has brought a renewed push for stricter gun control laws in the country.
Jackson — the rare successful two-sport athlete who spent time with the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, Angels and Raiders during his playing career — was one of countless who spoke out on the day of the shooting pleading for change.
America...let’s please stop all the nonsense. Please pray for all victims. If you hear something, say something. We aren’t supposed to bury our children. I’m praying for all of the families around the country who have lost loved ones to senseless shootings. This cannot continue.
— Bo Jackson (@BoJackson) May 25, 2022
“I don’t want to turn this into anything [but] what it is,” Jackson said, via The Associated Press. “I was just trying [with the donation] to put a little sunshine in someone’s cloud, a very dark cloud … It’s the children. It’s the children. It’s the children.
“If it doesn’t bother you, something’s wrong with you.”