A Texas superintendent has apologized for a racist Facebook comment about Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, saying that he wished he never posted derogatory words.
Lynn Redden, the superintendent of Onalaska school district 100 miles north of Houston, commented on a story about the Houston Texans’ recent loss to the Tennessee Titans.
On Sunday, Watson ran out the clock on the final play of the game as Houston lost 20-17.
Redden commented on the Chron.com’s story, saying that “when you need precision decision making, you can’t count on a black quarterback.” He believed he was responding to a private message and deleted the comment when he realized it was a public post.
However, another reader, Matt Ericksen, took a screenshot of the exchange and sent the picture to the Chronicle.
Ericksen said he did not have children in Ledden’s school district, but he wanted to shine a light on what he feels was a blatantly racist comment.
“It’s important to make sure horrible words are met with consequences, especially for those in powerful positions with influence,” Ericksen said.
Redden said that he didn’t intend for the comment to be racist and was instead referring to the statistical success of African-American NFL quarterbacks.
“Over the history of the NFL, they have had limited success,” Redden told the Chron.com.
But in a 2017 study by researchers at the University of Colorado revealed that there is an unconscious racial bias in how we view quarterbacks. African-American QBs are seen as “talented and strong and their white counterparts as smart and hard-working.”
Thirty years ago, Doug Williams was the first black quarterback to lead his team, the Washington Redskins, to a Super Bowl win.
“I knew it was history-making,” recalled Williams to the Washington Post, who was asked leading up to the Super Bowl about being a black quarterback. Williams scored four touchdowns in his MVP performance which was seen as opening the door for future African-American quarterbacks.
Russell Wilson would become just the second black quarterback to win a Super Bowl after leading the Seattle Seahawks to the trophy in 2013.
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