Jacksonville Jaguars player Matt Overton has an offer for fans upset by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement over the weekend.
Luck, 29, announced that he was leaving the NFL after seven seasons because repeated injuries had made it difficult for him to enjoy the game — leading to outrage from some fans.
In a tweet on Monday, Overton addressed “angry” Colts fans and offered to donate their already-purchased tickets to Riley Children’s Health, which offers access to healthcare for children across Indiana, including at the Riley Hospital for Children in downtown Indianapolis.
“To any angry Colts season ticket holders who are seeking a refund, I’d be more than happy to buy your season tix off of you & donate them to @RileyChildrens patients & their families,” Overton, 34, wrote. “I’m serious.”
Overton previously played five seasons with the Colts and still calls Indianapolis “home,” he told local station WTHR.
To any angry Colts season ticket holders who are seeking a refund,— Matt Overton (@MattOverton_LS) August 26, 2019
I’d be more than happy to buy your season tix off of you & donate them to @RileyChildrens patients & their families. I’m serious.
“Riley Hospital is near and dear to me,” Overton told WTHR. “It’s near and dear to the entire community of Indianapolis. If we can help these kids and families go to a game and cheer on their favorite team, the Colts, let’s make it happen. … We’ll turn this into a positive thing, help the kids and give an opportunity to some very deserving kids and families.”
“It was emotional for me to watch him up there,” the athlete added of watching Luck’s retirement announcement. “You can obviously tell that he’s going through a real big struggle and he has been for quite some time now. Being former teammates with him and playing alongside him for five years, I know the man he is, the competitor he is and the teammate he is. People are questioning his character and his toughness, all that kind of stuff. I just think it’s a bunch of B.S.”
Following news of Luck’s retirement, Riley Children’s Health thanked him on Twitter.
“A huge thank you goes out to Andrew Luck from all of us here at Riley Children’s Health,” the tweet read. “Thank you for sharing your passion for a healthy lifestyle, for bringing smiles to kids’ faces, and for all you’ve given back. We wish you the best in retirement.”
A huge thank-you goes out to Andrew Luck from all of us here at Riley Children’s Health. Thank you for sharing your passion for a healthy lifestyle, for bringing smiles to kids’ faces, and for all you’ve given back. We wish you the best in retirement. #ThankYouLuck pic.twitter.com/3ruJCXh0hC— Riley Children's (@RileyChildrens) August 26, 2019
After footage of fans booing Luck went viral on social media, Overton tweeted in support of his former teammate.
“This is just wrong on so many levels,” he wrote. “From how the news was released to fans booing in anger & confusion. This cannot be [t]he way Luck walks off the field for the last time. My heart breaks for our brother.”
This is just wrong on so many levels. From how the news was released to fans booing in anger & confusion. This cannot be he way Luck walks off the field for the last time. My heart breaks for our brother. https://t.co/PEVzICwake— Matt Overton (@MattOverton_LS) August 25, 2019
“Just listened to Luck’s retirement,” Overton tweeted on Saturday after the retirement news broke. “I am shocked just as you are but I 100% understand, support & applaud. We play a kids game for a living & there is a wonderful life to be lived outside of football. Thank you Andrew for being a warrior & being a great teammate. Love you brother.”
In a follow-up tweet, Overton defended Luck again, writing, “Luck didn’t quit on his team. Luck went through a brick wall a thousand times for his team & always took the heat like a champ. Selfless. True pro.”
“Go get your health & joy back brother!!!” he added. “Thank you for everything you did for the team & city of Indy!”