It's not every day that athletes find themselves joining a group of celebrities that includes President Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry and Roseanne Barr. But J.J. Watt and a handful of other sports figures are among the honorees on Time's 100 Most Influential list — released Thursday. The list recognizes activism and achievements of those in influential roles.
Other sports figures joining Watt include NBA star Kevin Durant, tennis legend Roger Federer, Olympians Adam Rippon and Chloe Kim, former gymnast Rachael Denhollander and cricket player Virat Kohli.
Watt, the Houston Texans star, used his NFL platform to raise more than $37 million in the wake of Hurricane Harvey's devastation.
Sylvester Turner, mayor of Houston, wrote of Watt: "Every few years, a professional athlete touches the heart and soul of a city in a way that has nothing to do with athleticism. Who knows? After I leave office, J.J. Watt could be drafted as the next mayor of Houston."
Bill Gates paid tribute to Federer, writing that the 36-year-old's grace extends off the tennis court with his philanthropic efforts to help end child poverty.
U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman honored Denhollander, who was the first Larry Nassar victim to go public with allegations of sexual abuse.
Raisman wrote that Denhollander's "show of courage and conviction inspired many people to feel less like victims and more like survivors."