Bill O’Brien has no problem with his players taking a knee for the national anthem. In fact, he will join them in protesting racial injustice and police brutality.
“Yeah, I’ll take a knee. I’m all for it,” O’Brien told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “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.”
The Texans’ coach, who doubles as the General Manager, decided the time was right to speak up about his feelings and the team’s stance. Team chairman Cal McNair isn’t sitting quietly either, having participated in conversations with players and promising to do whatever he can to help.
“When you think about how big the issue is, if we can help make a little change in Houston, maybe it’ll be like a pebble in the pond that creates a ripple,” McNair told McClain. “What happened to George Floyd brought to life something that’s bigger than football, and you can’t ignore it. We felt like we couldn’t stay silent. We felt like we had to say and do something. We want to help make changes.
“This is the right thing to do, and I think our players recognize that. We want to support our players and our community. We’re all in this boat together.”
The Texans’ image took a hit in 2017 over late owner Bob McNair’s “inmates running the prison” comments while the league was busy shunning Colin Kaepernick. Cal McNair’s supportive comments and O’Brien’s promise to kneel with his players should go a long way in repairing that image.