NASHVILLE – The Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars – rivals of the Tennessee Titans on the football field in the AFC South – have stepped up to help a competitor.
All three franchises are partnering with the Titans to help those affected by last week's deadly tornadoes in Middle Tennessee.
The three teams are donating $100,000 together to benefit the Titans and Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
The Titans are directing donations to CFMT to support communities and nonprofits that are providing assistance to those affected.
"The Houston Texans and our city have the residents of Nashville in our thoughts and prayers during this incredibly difficult time," Texans chairman and chief executive officer Cal McNair said in a statement. "We have also come together with our AFC South family, the Indianapolis Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars, to make a contribution of $100,000 to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to help with the ongoing relief and recovery efforts in the Music City.
"So many NFL partners, including Amy Adams Strunk and the Tennessee Titans, answered the call to help in our city's recovery following Hurricane Harvey and we are grateful to be able to help them and their community in their time of need."
Last week, the Titans Foundation and controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk made a donation of $1 million to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT) following the devastation of the EF-3 tornado that swept through Nashville and surrounding areas last Tuesday morning.
In addition, The NFL Foundation will make a $250,000 contribution to CFMT and also will work with local schools to assess needs for football field repair and equipment replacement.
"I know Nashville is a tightly knit community where everyone is a friend and neighbor to one another," Jaguars owner Shad Khan said. "I want Titans fans and everyone in Nashville to know they also have friends and neighbors throughout the AFC South, and that is particularly true in Jacksonville. We're here now and as long as it takes to lend a hand and our hearts to Nashville."
The Titans partnered with Hands on Nashville to encourage volunteer efforts. Titans players, staff and their families volunteered on Friday, starting off just down the road from the team's facility. Later in the day, some in the organization traveled to Hermitage, another area hit by the storm, to drop off supplies.
On Sunday, members of the Titans organization returned to North Nashville to volunteer efforts, and items.
"While we compete hard on Sundays throughout the fall, the NFL is first and foremost a family, and one of our family members is hurting right now," Colts owner Jim Irsay said. "We are happy to join with our AFC South partners to lend a helping hand to the people of Tennessee who have lost so much."
At least 25 people were killed across the state, including two in Nashville.
In Nashville, the twister's path was mostly north and east of the heart of downtown, hitting areas in Bordeaux and North Nashville. Germantown and East Nashville took a direct hit, along with Donelson. Tennessee State University suffered major damage, along with Donelson Christian Academy.
The storm then devastated areas in Mount Juliet before eventually making its way to Putnam County, where the largest death tolls were recorded.
Those wishing to make a financial contribution to CFMT can donate to the fund by visiting www.cfmt.org and clicking "donate now" at the top of the page or by calling 888-540-5200.
Titans players, coaches, staff and their families hit the streets of North Nashville to help those impacted by the deadly tornado. (Photos: Donald Page)