Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien recently decided to take a strong stance amid the latest push for social justice. His stance symbolizes strength.
The Houston Texans could be about a month or so away from starting their training camp as the league and the NFLPA make tweaks to the CBA to allow a uniform start to the event that prepares players for the start of the regular season.
I had wondered if there would be a training camp amid the CDC guidelines requiring the wearing of masks and being socially distant which is something that you cannot do in such a vital contact sport as football is.
But it looks like something is going to be put together but it could mean that the preseason would be shortened, starts being delayed as well as a gradual build-up of player’s workloads to get them back up to speed. Guys have been working out virtually and it’s no substitute for the real thing.
Although I’m certain the NFL will start on time this season, I seriously doubt that stadiums will be packed full of fans, just based on where we’re at in terms of fighting this global pandemic so that will be the difference between this season and any other. But we’ll have to see how this plays out over the next few months going into September, the first month of the season.
But anyway, while that’s going on, the news of the murder of George Floyd — and most recently Rayshard Brooks, who was fatally shot in a drive-thru in Atlanta last night — have gripped the nation while the images of protests dominate our television screens, awakening many to the plight social injustice.
But this isn’t television, it isn’t a movie script but real-life for many and it’s a serious problem in our country right now.
It’s certainly the reason why Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee and many didn’t understand why he did so and I certainly hope that they do now with so many out in the streets across the world express their views of what’s wrong in our world today.
He has said he will take a knee at the beginning of games to show solidarity with the movement that we’re seeing across the globe.
Here’s what he said:
"“Yeah, I’ll take a knee — I’m all for it,” O’Brien said. “The players have a right to protest, a right to be heard, and a right to be who they are. They’re not taking a knee because they’re against our flag. They’re taking a knee because they haven’t been treated equally in this country for over 400 years.”"
O’Brien also mentioned that he was wasn’t forced to come to decision either:
"“It wasn’t a conscious effort,” O’Brien said of the Texans’ response to Floyd’s death. “It wasn’t like we had a conversation together and decided to do it. I think we just said enough is enough, and we’ve got to do what’s right. As an organization, we’re part of the conversation, and we want to do our part.”"
As much as we criticize O’Brien for his personnel moves and game management decisions, he’s looking mighty strong here. Bill didn’t have to make this decision and just lent his support to the cause but taking a knee shows that he’s all in to ensure that justice is swift to those who badly need it.
His move symbolizes fortitude and he should be lauded for making such a bold one.
On top of that, the Houston Texans have been out front in denouncing what we’ve seen from what feels like the same continuous story for years on end.
Janice, Cal and Hannah McNair have started a 10-part video series to help heighten the awareness
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of what’s at stake and it’s appropriately titled “Conversations for Change,” with former defensive tackle Travis Johnson being their first guest, discussing his experiences growing up in Los Angeles amid racial injustice. Assistant head coach Romeo Crennel will be featured in their next episode. It’s up on the Houston Texans’ web site so feel free to take a look.
This is, quite honestly, refreshing to see and it appears far from lip service and that something is actually being done in the community in which this franchise does business. It will be interesting to see what more they have in store.
But all in all, O’Brien is on the right side of social justice and I think his moral compass is exemplary.
Let’s ensure that the many lives lost at the hands of police brutality are not in vain and that we all take the steps to move forward on a sound solution.
Enough is enough…