Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson took the high road Wednesday when asked by reporters about a racist comment about him posted by a Texas school superintendent.
“That’s on him,” Watson said. “May peace be with him. I worry about me, so I’m not worried about what he has to say.”
Commenting on a post linking to coverage of the Texans’ 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Onalaska Independent School District Supt. Lynn Redden, who is white, wrote: “That may have been the most inept quarterback decision I’ve seen in the NFL. When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a black quarterback.”
Watson said he’s experienced racism before and “it’s just [part of] everyday life.”
“But I’m all about love, [so] I don’t focus on [any] of that,” Watson said. “I love all people. And that’s what I focus on. ... I can’t control other people and what their beliefs are. I can control what I can control, so I just focus on me, and that’s it.”
Also speaking to reporters about the matter Wednesday, Texans coach Bill O’Brien stated:
“I don’t want to waste a lot of time responding to outdated, inaccurate, ignorant, idiotic statements. I’ll just let Deshaun’s proven success on the field, his character off the field speak for itself. He’s one of the greatest guys I’ve coached. He represents everything that’s right about football, about life. His teammates respect him, his coaches respect him. In this day and age, it’s just amazing that that BS exists, but it does. But we’re moving forward.”
Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year, told the Houston Chronicle: “I don’t think it deserves any attention from any of us. It’s a very ignorant comment that doesn’t deserve any more play. It’s very unfortunate. I trust him [Watson] a whole lot. We all trust him.”
With 17 seconds remaining in the game Sunday and no timeouts, Watson used up valuable time scrambling inside the pocket before connecting with receiver DeAndre Hopkins over the middle. The play was good for a 31-yard gain to the Tennessee 21, but by the time it was over so was the game.
According to the Chronicle, which spoke with Redden by phone on Monday, the superintendent “regretted posting the comment under a story on the Chron.com Facebook page.” He told the newspaper he thought he was commenting on a private message from a friend and deleted the comment when he realized it was public.
Redden added that his comment was based on the history of African American quarterbacks in the NFL, saying that they “have had limited success.”
Onalaska is about 85 miles north of Houston. Its school board meets Saturday and, according to the agenda, “there will be a personnel discussion with possible action regarding superintendent and superintendent contract.”
1 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Deshaun Watson.
This article was originally posted at 10:50 a.m.