Bill O’Brien said he will kneel in support of his Houston Texans players.
Bill O’Brien deserves a ton of credit today.
The Houston Texans head coach gets crushed often by the media and football fans alike for his questionable coaching and front office decisions. Though he has won the AFC South four of the last five years and is the greatest coach in franchise history, he can be seen as a bit of a running joke at times. But not today, not after what he said he plans to do in support of his players.
The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reported on Friday afternoon, “Bill O’Brien will take a knee with players as Texans become more outspoken on race.” Though he’s not the first NFL head coach to firmly say he has his players’ back in the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a huge, huge, huge action that will go a long way towards fixing things in this country. Good job by you, Coach!
Bill O’Brien has his players’ backs and will kneel with them in protest.
Keep in mind the organization he plays for and the state in which this football team resides. Late Texans owner Bob McNair said only a few years, “we can’t have the inmates running the prison.” Though he would admit to regretting saying that before he passed, it’s a quote we’re never going to forget. Now his son Cal McNair was seen attending George Floyd’s service. Things are changing.
As for the state of Texas, football is king. High school, college, professional, it doesn’t really matter. Houston is the biggest city in the state and the head coach of the professional football team in town taking a knee with his players will be one of the most powerful messages you’ll see in the NFL this fall.
To make things even more interesting, guess where the Texans are playing Week 1 this season? Yes, they will be at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. While Chiefs players like Patrick Mahomes and Tyrann Mathieu have been at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement, Kansas City has a reputation for being a racist town.
If O’Brien does kneel in protest in support of his Texans players in their fight for racial equality, he will be a media lightning rod. Surely, bigoted people across the country will be abhorred to see a white football coach taking a knee next to his black players while disrespecting the flag. Well, it’s not about the flag, and it never was. Just ask Drew Brees if he gets it finally.
As much as we want to encourage and applaud O’Brien for his leadership and bravery for doing the right thing, you know some people will crucify him for this. Hopefully, other NFL coaches will be open to putting their neck on the line like O’Brien is planning on. If he does this in the NFL season opener at Arrowhead on Thursday night in primetime, there is no turning back, for all of us.
O’Brien is no stranger to criticism, but if he faces any for this, we’ve got his back on it, 100 percent.