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A Texas superintendent who wrote you “can’t count on a black quarterback” on a Facebook post about Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson resigned less than a week after the screenshots surfaced.
The Onalaska Independent School District Board of Education accepted superintendent Lynn Redden’s resignation during a special meeting Saturday morning, according to ABC 13 in Houston.
RESIGNATION LETTER: “I’d like to apologize to @deshaunwatson. I recognize that given the opportunity to respond by criticizing or belittle me, he chose peace and positivity instead.” —Lynn Redden, #Onalaska ISD Superintendent writes. https://t.co/YkBUUQXSuE #abc13 pic.twitter.com/4KLtBDklwq
— Courtney Fischer (@CourtneyABC13) September 22, 2018
“As an educator, this experience has taught me that I still have a lot to learn,” Redden wrote in his resignation letter to board president Ted Wiggins.
“My comments were not only uninformed but also hurtful and I understand now why they were offensive to so many people.”
Onalaska is approximately 100 miles north of Houston. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the school district serves approximately 1,000 students, the majority of whom are white.
Redden’s comments happened Monday on a Facebook post by the Houston Chronicle. The newspaper posted a meme that referenced Watson holding the ball during the final seconds of the Texans’ 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
“That may have been the most inept quarterback decision I’ve seen in the NFL,” Redden wrote. “When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a black quarterback.”
Parents in the district were angry and Onalaska ISD posted to its Facebook page saying the district does not condone the negative comments or actions of any race, adding it will take the appropriate measures to address the situation expeditiously and completely.
Hence a Saturday morning meeting that drew a crowd.
“I don’t think he needs to be in that position he’s in,” said Jeremy Watts, a parent and firefighter, told ABC 13. “That’s why we have to deal with stuff all the time because people make comments like that. It’s horrible, it’s disgusting.”
The Houston resident Redden was replying to on the thread took a screenshot and sent it to the Chronicle. Redden thought he was making a private comment and deleted it when he realized it was public.
He told the Chronicle this week he “wish it had never been posted” and said he didn’t intend for it to come across racist. He said he was referring to the “limited success” black NFL quarterbacks have had in the NFL.
A 2017 study by the University of Colorado shows there’s still a racial bias that influences our views of quarterbacks.
Watson took the high road when answering questions from reporters Wednesday during media availability. Redden referenced him in his letter, recognizing that Watson did not take the opportunity to belittle the superintendent but instead chose “peace and positivity.”
When asked if he faces racism as a quarterback, Watson quickly replied “of course.”
“I mean, it’s everyday life, I guess. I’m all about love, so I don’t have none of that, I don’t focus on none of that, I love all people. That’s what I focus on,” he said.
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