The white Texas school district superintendent who made disparaging remarks about Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson on the basis of his being “a black quarterback” has resigned after a week of uproar.
Lynn Redden, who headed the Onalaska Independent School District, which is located about 75 miles north of Houston, wrote in a letter of resignation obtained by KTRK-TV, an ABC affiliate in Houston. “The comments were wrong and inappropriate and have been an embarrassment to the district, my family, friends and to me. For this I am deeply sorry.”
“Moving forward, I believe it is in the district’s best interest that I resign from my position,” he wrote.
Redden posted comments on a Houston Chronicle Facebook after the Texans lost to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Watson had made a critical error on the game’s final play that allowed the game clock to drain and ended any hope of a win. Houston lost, 20-17.
“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.”
Redden quickly deleted the comments — he later said they were intended to be sent as a private messages — but a user captured an image of the remarks and provided it to the newspaper.
The Onalaska school board met in a special session Saturday to discuss possible discipline against Redden. The meeting ended with the board accepting his resignation.
“In this day and age, it’s just amazing that this B.S. exits — but it does,” Texans Coach Bill O’Brien told reporters earlier this week when asked about post. “But we’re moving forward, and our fans, they love Deshaun, and we’re really concentrating on the Giants. But I felt like I wasted about a minute and a half responding to that B.S.”
Watson chose not to directly address the remarks, telling reporters: “That’s on him. May peace be with him. I worry about me.” Asked whether he had experienced racism as a quarterback, Watson replied, “Of course.”
“That’s just everyday life, I guess” Watson said. “But 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, and that’s what I focus on.”
The Onalaska school district’s demographics listed in a 2016-17 Texas Academic Performance Report show the student body of 1,026 students is overwhelmingly white. Nine students, or less than one percent of the student body, is black.
Redden wrote in his resignation letter he hopes “those who know me well” will remember him for his 42 years of work in public education “rather than by my unwarranted and inappropriate comments.”
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