Texans coach Bill O’Brien has spoken both to the public and to his team about his concerns about police brutality since the death of George Floyd, and it’s earning him respect in the locker room.
Houston defensive back Justin Reid said he has been thrilled to hear O’Brien and team executive Jack Easterby show their support for players who are saying it’s time for change in America.
“I’ve got all the respect in the world for OB,” Reid said, via the Houston Chronicle. “He had the public statement that he made publicly and also in a private team meeting. He let us have the opportunity to talk with him and give our opinion and feelings on what’s going on in the state of the country and what we can do about it. My true feelings are that him and Jack and all the other guys are sincere.”
Reid’s brother Eric Reid was the first player to join Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem, and Justin Reid said he hopes everyone in America now realizes that the cause they were trying to draw attention to — police brutality — is a cause that should concern everyone.
“It isn’t exclusive to only African Americans,” Reid said. “It happens to all races: black, white, Hispanic, Asian. There’s just a tendency that it happens more to African-Americans. This is a real thing; it’s just been taboo. It’s finally being talked about. People are speaking up, and I think that’s huge. I think the next step for us is turning that raw energy into action, into changes of the structure of society, the structure of the police and their behavior, their accountability.”
When Kaepernick began his protests, the NFL players who joined him were generally not supported by the league, owners or coaches. Now the league is voicing support, and Reid feels that he has an ally in his head coach.
Justin Reid praises Bill O’Brien’s support for social justice causes originally appeared on Pro Football Talk