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.
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson
Sep 14, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks to pass against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) after the game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2017; Foxborough, MA, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) runs the ball against the New England Patriots in the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Deshaun Watson (Clemson) is selected as the number 12 overall pick to the Houston Texans in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 9, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) warms up before a game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) speaks to media during the Clemson Tigers media day at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) reacts during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) shake hands after a game at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 24: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans reacts after the Texans lost to the Patriots 36-33 at Gillette Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans looks on during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 14, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Texans won 13-9. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 14: Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) takes the field for warm ups before the NFL game against the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals on September 14 2017, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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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.