Former Wisconsin Badger JJ Watt and the Houston Astros' José Altuve have been named Sports Illustrated's 2017 Sportspersons of the Year.
Watt plays for the Houston Texans and Altuve is just coming off a World Series win. Both will be honored for their contributions on and off the field. Sports Illustrated says this year's theme was "Athletes Who Care."
“We will remember 2017 as much for what athletes strove to achieve off the field as for what they achieved on it,” said Chris Stone, Editorial Director of Sports at Time Inc. “While JJ and José represent two very different paths, they both led to the same destination: #HoustonStrong. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of SI’s original ‘Athletes Who Care’ Sportsperson of the Year honor, which recognizes players who transcended sport alone. This year once again we celebrate a new generation of athletes who care, in all senses of the word: caring about humanitarian efforts, about social and political justice, about their communities and about their crafts.”
Watt raised more than $37 million for Hurricane Harvey victims. Watt says, “All I did was give people a way to help. If I’m going to get an award, I feel like over 200,000 other people should too.”
Altuve is the Houston Astros' second baseman and American League MVP. He was honored for giving back and inspiring a community when it needed it the most.
Watt and Altuve are featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated's annual Sportsperson of the Year issue.
The two will be honored at the Sportsperson of the Year Award Show today (December 5) at Barclays Center in New York. The show will be televised December 8 at 7:00 p.m. CT on NBCSN and December 9 at 7:00 p.m. CT on Univision Deportes.