Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and the team’s owners, the Glazer family, announced Thursday that they will make donations to Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida’s southwest coast near Cayo Costa as a powerful Category 4 storm on Wednesday. It has re-strengthened in the Atlantic after killing at least 19 and leaving millions without power in Florida, packing winds of nearly 85 mph on its way to the coast of South Carolina.
Brady said in one Twitter message: “He was happy to be able to go home for Sunday night, but not many people in Florida will be able to do the same.
“I will be making a donation to the Florida Disaster Fund to get things started, and I hope the rest of our state’s NFL family will follow suit.”
The Glazer family will donate $1 million to organizations that provide support to those most affected by the storms in Southwest Florida and across the state.
“The devastation suffered in Southwest Florida and the damage caused throughout our state will be felt for some time,” Bucs co-owner Darcie Glazer Kassewitz said in a statement. “The whole community will need to work together in strength for a long time to come and we are committed to supporting our families in their recovery.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the many people affected, the heroic first responders and all those helping to keep others safe.”
The Bucs moved football operations to Miami in South Florida earlier this week because of the storm. Earlier Thursday, the Buccaneers announced Sunday night’s home game against the Kansas City Chiefs will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Brady, 45, spoke about the positive impact that hosting Sunday’s game in Tampa could have on the unifying ability of sports.
“I always feel like sports have brought people together for a long time,” the seven-time Super Bowl champion told the media. “Looking at different tragedies, whether it’s 9/11 or Katrina, sports have an amazing way of healing wounds and bringing people together and bringing communities together and starting to inspire a common interest for good.”
He added: “I think you can participate in things like this at any time, it’s a great feeling. I know it means a lot to us to always be able to go out and play for our fans. But after what so many people in the state have been through, it’s really nice to get out there and give them something to cheer about.”