After last weekend’s NFL action, some folks — especially in the northeastern Florida area — may not have have been too fond of Jadeveon Clowney. It was understandable, seeing as the Houston Texans defensive end took it upon himself to poke fun at Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, calling him “trash” when asked about his 2017 improvements.
It made sense on the surface, but still seemed unnecessary. Bortles has largely been considered a bust through the first four seasons of his NFL career, but has undergone a revival of sorts this season. In helping the Jaguars secure their first playoff spot since 2007, the former first-round pick has been a pleasant surprise, displaying major upgrades in his accuracy, decision making, and overall efficiency.
On top of that, he took Clowney’s criticism in stride. As a matter of fact, he may have even made light of the comments.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles on the criticism he has faced and how he's amassed those critics: "If how we're playing and how I'm playing is trash, then I'm fine being trash."
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) December 20, 2017
Still, Jaguars fans weren’t pleased with the hostility towards their suddenly solid quarterback. In fact, they decided to take it upon themselves to put Clowney in his place, especially with the Texans nearing the end of another disappointing campaign.
Yes, they sent the Houston pass rusher trash cans in response to his Bortles bashing.
The most wonderful time of the year 😌 pic.twitter.com/AuLJgafAqc
— HegeDustin (@DRHegedus) December 21, 2017
— Bonnie Upright, APR (@bonnieupright) December 21, 2017
Savage (and creative) retort by Jacksonville, certainly. Then again, Clowney did ask for it considering how miserable the Texans have been since their own quarterback situation came undone following the season-ending injury to Deshaun Watson. Still, it was anyone’s guess how Clowney would respond to the trolling trash cans courtesy of these clever Jaguars faithful.
He could have done nothing, simply choosing to ignore the backlash. He also could have been salty, posting some unprofessional response on social media or making some ill-advised comment the next time he spoke to the media. Or, he could have gone down the path he ultimately chose — taking those trash cans and using them to do a good deed.
Honestly, the end result made the whole situation all the more awesome.
What looked like an ugly PR move for Clowney turned into the opportunity to give back while also saving face. With the help of his newly acquired trash cans, he summoned the Christmas spirit and found the inspiration to provide trash cans and a van full of toys to children.
Thank you @Jaguars fans for sending trash cans to NRG! It inspired me to fill them and an entire truck with toys to turn a negative situation into a blessing for some deserving women and children at @MissionOfYahweh #turningtrashintotreasure #merrychristmas pic.twitter.com/LamHoDSLEk
— Jadeveon Clowney (@clownejd) December 22, 2017
As you can see above, the toys were donated to the Mission of Yahweh, a Houston-based shelter for homeless women and children.
Here’s this on the Mission of Yahweh, via their official website:
The Mission of Yahweh is a faith-based, non-denominational emergency & transitional shelter located in Houston, Texas that empowers, enriches and restores the lives of homeless women and children and provides outreach services to low income families in our community.
The Mission has served Houston’s homeless women and their children since 1961. Our doors are always open for families in crisis. We are a truly unique refuge that not only provides food, clothing and shelter, but also is committed to helping residents to become self-sufficient, productive members of society. The Mission supports more than 3,000 residential stays each month. We also provide thousands of Houston residents with donations of food, clothing, school supplies and other necessities.
HoustonTexans.com also provided some insight into Clowney’s selfless act:
“They sent me the trash cans and I said, ‘Why not fill them up with toys and give back today?’” Clowney said.
Clowney stayed around the Mission of Yahweh to take pictures with fans, play ball with the kids and, of course, hand out a truck load of toys to some excited smiling faces.
“It’s wonderful giving where I’m at,” said Clowney. “Anybody can do it, but not a lot of people are. For me to give back, I’m very happy. I’m very blessed.”
Clowney, the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, has enjoyed some outstanding seasons with the Texans after an injury-plagued rookie campaign. Despite missing all but four games in his first year with the Texans, the South Carolina product has racked up 149 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 10 passes defended and four forced fumbles in four seasons. He’s quickly shrugged off the early bust label, and has made quite the name for himself in Houston.
This latest act of kindness has also earned him some positive karma. Although it all began because of a critical comment made about an opponent, Clowney found a way to turn it around and make a wonderful thing out of a negative situation. It’s not everyday you see that, especially in the sports world.
Suffice it to say, the women and children at the Mission of Yahweh are having a very Merry Christmas in 2017.