The NFL has decided to cancel Thursday’s preseason game between the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys due to Hurricane Harvey which devastated Texas.
The organization wants their players to be able to go home earlier than expected, in a time where family and friends need all of the support they can get. The Texans said in a statement that they will drive home on Wednesday after finding a safe travel route.
“At this time, the priority of our organization is getting our players, coaches and staff back home to be reunited with their families, many of whom have been evacuated from their homes and are currently sheltered. The team feels it is imperative to get back home to help the Houston community recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey,” the team said.
Confirming what you're already seeing, which is that tomorrow's game has been canceled. Texans are going home.
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 30, 2017
According to ESPN, there had been discussions on whether or not the other Thursday game between the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints should be canceled, but the Saints have reported that the game will go on as scheduled.
Of course, the players on the Texans and Cowboys are more likely to have been affected by the catastrophic event than the Saints or Ravens, but you never know.
More than 40,000 tickets for the Texans-Cowboys game were sold on Tuesday night, with the profits advertised as going to the hurricane relief fund. Those who have purchased tickets to the game can now get a refund but if they choose not to, the money will still go to the relief fund.
The Texans said in their statement that the McNair family, which owns the team, “will make a donation equal to the money that would have been generated from ticket sales.”
Players spoke out about the cancellation, most of them having the same thing to say. The people matter more than a football game right now.
“I think there’s more important things than football right now,” Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee said from the Cowboys’ kickoff luncheon. “Houston being able to get home and see their families is a big deal.”
“Know that they’re probably anxious to get home and see their families and just assess the situation,” said Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. “I said it a couple days ago, but this is bigger than football.”
Join the NFL and help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
— NFL (@NFL) August 30, 2017
Thankfully the NFL recognized the situation at hand and made the right decision.