WWE star Braun Strowman teams up with Green Bay Packers to honor fan Jackson Sparks, who died in the Waukesha Christmas Parade
WWE superstar and Green Bay Packers fan Braun Strowman teamed up with the Pack to create a pair of custom boots he wore Friday night on "Smackdown," and will now auction them off to benefit those affected by the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy in 2021.
The boots are in honor of 8-year-old Jackson Sparks specifically, who died as a result of his injuries during the parade attack. Sparks was a fan of Strowman.
"I found out that one of the young men that passed away, one of his things that he always wanted to do was meet his wrestling hero — Braun Strowman," said Strowman in video released by the Packers.
"That really spoke to me even more, it told me how I needed to do more for these people and this family."
Strowman went on to say how he worked with the Packers to create the custom boots, which he wore Friday during the WWE event from the Resch Center near Green Bay. Although not his hometown, Green Bay has become a bit of an adopted hometown for Strowman.
Strowman has a lot of family in Wisconsin, he frequently markets himself as a big fan of Wisconsin's sports teams, having thrown out the first pitch for the Brewers in 2019. Strowman's wrestling name "Braun" is also a nod to former Brewers great Ryan Braun.
The WWE has a history of not letting wrestlers win in their hometowns or adopted hometowns, it's not exactly clear why that is, but it is a trend that wrestling fans have noticed. Strowman was pinned Friday night by Intercontinental Champion Gunther.
His match kicked off the show to a loud cheer from the crowd. The broadcast told the story behind the boots and mentioned Sparks by name.
Now, the boots will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to a foundation helping those affected by the Christmas Parade attacks, Strowman said.
"I really want to say thank you to everyone that tries to bid on these boots and help a good cause. At the end of the day, I want to leave the world a little better than I found it and each and every one of you can help do that right now. Thank you," Strowman said.
Sparks, was one of six people killed on Nov. 21, 2021, in Waukesha when a man drove through the Christmas Parade injuring dozens.
In October, Darrell Brooks was found guilty on all 76 counts in Waukesha Christmas Parade murders. He was sentenced to six consecutive life terms and hundreds of additional years.
Contact Drake Bentley at (414) 391-5647 or DBentley1@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DrakeBentleyMJS.