On Tuesday morning, tornadoes ripped across Nashville and areas to the East. At least 25 people were killed across the state, including two in 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.
Earlier this 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 early Tuesday morning.
“(The coaches and players), they went to work,” said Tina Tuggle, Senior Director of Community Relations. “They didn’t go out there as Tennessee Titans, they went out there as members of the community who wanted to do their part while making a difference in restoring and beginning the process of rebuilding, and that was awesome to see.
“This is our community, and we want to help.”
“It’s people helping each other,” Vrabel said. “We are just a small part of a large community that’s trying to help people wherever we can.”
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 and Hermitage. 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. Titans defensive lineman Austin Johnson’s Hermitage home suffered major damage.
The devastation in North Nashville was eye-opening, players said.
“It is incredible (to see),” Byard said. “It is like being in a movie a little bit. You see one house on this side of the street that is completely fine, and one that is not there anymore. So to see these type of things, I have only seen it on CNN. To see the destruction … it is incredible.
“It has been truly humbling. It is truly devastating to be honest with you. My condolences to all the people who have been affected. People lost loved ones, they lost homes, they lost businesses. If you actually get out here in the streets and to walk around and talk to some of the people that live in this area, you have no choice but to be moved, emotionally and spiritually.”