J.J. Watt, Kevin Durant among athletes recognized on Time's 100 Most Influential People list

By Chelsea Howard 20 April 2018 154
J.J. Watt, Kevin Durant among athletes recognized on Time's 100 Most Influential People list

Several athletes made Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People list for 2018, joining celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry and Roseanne Barr. 

The list, which recognizes activism and achievements of those in influential roles, was released Thursday with Tennis star Roger Federer gracing the cover of the magazine. Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Warriors forward Kevin Durant were also among the sports figures to make the top 100. 

Microsoft founder Bill Gates paid tribute to Federer, focusing on his off-court philanthropy initiatives. 

"Roger knows that effective philanthropy, like great tennis, requires discipline and time," Gates wrote. "It will be a sad day for all of us fans when he hangs up his racket—but we can take comfort in knowing that he’s committed to making the world a more equitable place."

Watt heavily influenced the Houston community by using his NFL platform to raise more than $37 million, helping rebuild the city after Hurricane Harvey's devastation. 

"Every few years, a professional athlete touches the heart and soul of a city in a way that has nothing to do with athleticism," Houston's mayor Sylvester Turner wrote about Watt. "Who knows? After I leave office, J.J. Watt could be drafted as the next mayor of Houston."

Durant was recognized by Apple executive Eddy Cue after the Warriors star committed $10 million to provide children with higher education through the College Track program. 

"KD is giving those growing up in tough situations, like he did, a path to success. His generosity knows no bounds," Cue wrote.

Olympians Chloe Kim (snowboarding) and Adam Rippon (figure skating) were also ranked among the most influential people in the world along with former gymnast Rachael Denhollander and cricket player Virat Kohli.

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Chelsea Howard

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