Houston Texans linebacker Christian Kirksey (58) during an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Matt Patterson)

In a show of support for Uvalde and the lives lost there after last week’s senseless killing of 19 students and teachers by a lone gunman at an elementary school, the Texans have announced they are donating $400,000 to the Robb School Memorial Fund.

The Texans players collectively are putting up $200,000 and the McNair family matched their gift.

“Our football team, a bunch of young men, wanted to make some type of statement,” Texans head coach Lovie Smith said. “They got together, asked (what) can you do in tough times like this? You can try to make people’s lives a little bit better. Our football team got together, led by them, and raised over $200,000 to try to help the people, the community.”

The tragedy hit home with the Texans because director of player care and sports medicine Roland Ramirez is from Uvalde and is still close with people there. Given Ramirez’s link to the town and the weight of the tragedy and with many players having children of their own, Texans linebacker Christian Kirksey said the players wanted to help with the healing in some way.

“You know, when I first heard the news, I was devastated by hearing that it’s children,” Kirksey said. “I’m a parent myself, and I can’t imagine taking my child to school where they’re supposed to be safe, that’s the safest place they can be, and you get a phone call from a principal or a police officer saying that there’s a shooting in the school. 

“My heart just goes out to those families, to those parents. No words can help the parents.  I know we’re giving money and giving things and giving our support, but at the end of the day they’re still hurting.”

In addition to the monetary support, the Texans are also joining the call for better gun control. The Texans are taking part in the 8th National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday (June 3). The players and staff will wear orange and they are encouraging Houstonians to join them in wearing orange.

“I’m not trying to make a political statement on what side of the fence, you know, we should be on but we should all be on the same side of safety for our young people,” Smith said. “That definitely should be something that we concentrate on.”

For those interested in contributing to the Robb School Memorial Fund, you can donate directly with First State Bank of Uvalde by check through the mail (payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund”) or through Zelle to robbschoolmemorialfund@gmail.com. To learn more about Wear Orange, visit wearorange.org