Texas superintendent resigns after racist remark toward Texans' Deshaun Watson

A Texas superintendent who wrote you “can’t count on a black quarterback” on a Facebook post about the Houston Texans 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.

“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.

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson
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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)

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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