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Race

‘YOU CAN’T COUNT ON A BLACK QUARTERBACK,’ SAYS RACIST

September 20, 2018

East Texas school superintendent Lynn Redden got caught with his racism showing when he wrote: “When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a black quarterback” in the comments section of a Houston Chronicle article regarding Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson. The comment was in response to Watson holding on to the ball when time expired in a 20-7 loss to the Tennesee Titans. It’s an open secret that a considerable amount of white people keep their racism private in order to absolve themselves, which probably explains why Redden thought mentioning that the comment was meant to be a private message was justification enough for his bigotry.

The post was quickly deleted but the internet is forever so naturally a screenshot of the comment was sent to the media. The Texans responded in kind, offering nothing but support and admiration for the Quarterback. Texans coach Bill O’Brien spoke briefly on the matter, stating “I really don’t want to waste a lot of time responding to outdated, inaccurate, ignorant, idiotic statements,” he said. “I’ll just let Deshaun (Watson’s) proven success on the field, his character off the field, speak for itself. He’s one of the greatest guys I’ve ever coached. He represents everything that’s right about football, about life.”

Deshaun Watson was courteous enough to reply to the situation even though the quarterback isn’t losing sleep over the comments. “That’s on him,” he said. “May peace be with him. I worry about me, so I’m not worried about what he has to say.” Watson’s mind is probably focused on leading his team to another national champion after he did so in the 2016 season. The quarterback understands that, as football player racism is a part of the package, especially as a Black person performing at an elite level. “It’s part of life,” he said. “I can’t control what other people what their beliefs are. I can control what I can control. I just focus on me, and that’s it.”

Watson doesn’t believe it’s his job to determine whether Redden should be fired – his contract with the Onalaska Independent School District is under review – but the class that Redden’s bigotry was met with is majestic but also equally frustrating. According to The Washington Post, Redden said he based the comment on “limited success” of Black quarterbacks in the NFL. What the comment reveals is a racist ideology masquerading as commentary. Here we have a micro-level display of the actions of one Black person being used to justify perceived inadequacy projected on a group of people.

Watson’s decision became an indictment on all Black quarterbacks in the league because racist white people have been given the opportunity to conflate their racism with critique. The chilling part is that they cannot tell the difference.

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