The former veteran TE continues to rep for the community in New Orleans.
Benjamin Watson is a veteran tight end who retired at the end of this past season. His fourteen year career included playing with the Patriots, Browns, Ravens and Saints, the latter from which he retired from. Over his long career, he amassed a career stat line of 5,885 yards receiving and 44 TDs on 530 receptions.
While he had success on the field, his off the field activities that have also received attention. He penned an emotional piece around the injustice in Ferguson and has remained active in politics and social issues, the most recent cause being the burning of the three Black churches in Louisiana.
Watson’s Twitter timeline is full of tweets regarding the incident and suspect, and now he’s making sure that everyone knows how to contribute to the rebuilding efforts.
As the 3 church congregations in Louisiana begin to recover join me in supporting their rebuilding efforts. Donations can be mailed to: Seventh District Baptist Association Seventh District PO Box 281 Ville Platte, La 70586 Or: https://t.co/EtDCh0KEwU
“It is imperative that we show this community and the entire country that these types of acts do not represent who we are. And most importantly as the body of Christ, we suffer along side our brothers and sisters whenever tragedy, persecution or loss happens” tweeted Watson, and now others are participating in these efforts due to his commitment to healing and rebuilding.
Between March 26th and April 4th, three churches — St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas — were burned, eliminating any discussion involving a coincidence. Watson realized this and reached out to the pastors of these churches to see how he could help.
“In speaking with these pastors I am in awe and inspired by their faith and courage, comforting their congregations and family members,” said Watson in a text message to The Advocate.
“Through sadness and shock they spoke of forgiveness for the arsonist and grace for tomorrow. Most importantly, they spoke of being overwhelmed by support from people of goodwill and all religions from around the country. And they were humbled by what God has already done through this series of events.”
Watson tweeted out his thoughts and a link to the GoFundMe page for the rebuilding efforts. This, in turn, inspired many including the Saints and WWLTV in New Orleans, who picked up the story and helped spread the word. These efforts also led to the arrest of suspect Holden Matthews, 21, on three counts of simple arson of a religious building.
It’s great that both a suspect is in custody and that the monetary and social support continues unabated.