After Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien delivered a poignant statement early on Wednesday, team chairman and CEO Cal McNair added his voice to the list of people in the NFL speaking out against racism and the wrongful deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
McNair recorded his statement via a video posted to the Texans Twitter account as opposed to releasing a written statement. He gave a nod to the history of racism in the country and said he intends to use the platform provided by the profile of the Texans to help lead the way toward change.
“After watching and listening to many important stories, I would like to speak straight from the heart,” McNair said. “We are all mourning the recent tragic deaths of George, Breonna and Ahmaud and we continue to pray for their families. I must acknowledge that this is not a recent issue. This has been a pervasive and mostly silent problems for the past 400-plus years.
“Our Texans players and their families have endured injustices for years. Like others who have spoken I believe that these injustices can not continue. As someone who has a platform to enact change, I’m going to do so through my actions rather than my words.
“I recognize that I have many young black male voices that I can listen to. During direct conversations with them I will listen more than talk and seek to understand. I acknowledge that after giving this statement I have the privilege to continue going about my day feeling safe. Given that reality from here on forward, I will make it a priority for this awareness to become a part of the fabric of the Houston Texans and I want to name what that will look like.
“What I envision is to use the platform of the Texans to empower black leaders in the community to speak and educate the Texans community. I spoke with a former player yesterday and he left me with a powerful sentiment: ‘Knowledge is power.’”