What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

Deshaun Watson responds to racist remark made by Texas superintendent

At a Texans news conference Wednesday, Watson said he wasn’t worried about the comments

4:43 PMWhen you’re a black quarterback in the National Football League, the room for error is smaller, the criticism is louder and racism comes with the job. It’s been that way since Marlin Briscoe took the field for the Broncos in ’68 as the first black quarterback to start in a pro football league. Some things don’t change.

At a news conference Wednesday, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson responded to a racist comment made against him by a Texas superintendent after the Texans’ 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Lynn Redden, the superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District, came under fire after posting a racist comment on the Facebook page of the Houston Chronicle.

“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.”

Watson took the high road as he addressed the media, saying he didn’t think much of the comment when he heard about it. Watson added that he’s no stranger to receiving racist remarks, which he deemed as a part of “everyday life” as a black quarterback. Watson has bigger fish to fry, as his Texans are 0-2 and sit at the bottom of the AFC South. Let’s not forget that Watson was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL last season — before his season-ending ACL tear suffered during a November practice.

“That’s on him, may peace be with him,” Watson said of Redden. “I’m worried about me. I’m not worried about what he has to say.”

Redden reportedly regrets making the statement, and he told the Chronicle on Monday, “I wish it had never been posted.” On Tuesday, the Onalaska Independent School District commented on the incident in a since-deleted Facebook post, saying they “don’t condone negative comments or actions against any race.” The OISD added that they would be taking the “appropriate measures” to address the situation.

When asked if he thought Redden should be fired, Watson said:

“That’s not my job. I don’t make that decision.”

“I’m all about love, [so] I don’t focus on [any] of that,” Watson said. “I love all people, and that’s what I focus on. It’s part of life. I can’t control other people and what their beliefs are. I can control what I can control, so I just focus on me, and that’s it.”

Picture this: Kawhi and Kobe together in California

The Raptors forward worked out with the Lakers legend in Newport Beach

11:43 AMKawhi Leonard will soon be in Toronto in preparation for his first season with the Raptors. The two-time NBA All-Star forward will be a free agent next summer, but a source has told The Undefeated that he will be open-minded about re-signing with the Raptors.

Even so, the Los Angeles-area native posing with Lakers legend Kobe Bryant after working out in Newport Beach, California, on Thursday night will only add to the intrigue of Leonard potentially coming home to sign with the Lakers. While Leonard was injured with the San Antonio Spurs last season, there were numerous reports that he wanted to resume his career in Los Angeles.

Leonard also worked out with new Lakers forward LeBron James, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman several weeks ago at UCLA. While Durant and Osman were there, much of the social media intrigue was about Leonard and James working out together and perhaps joining forces with the Lakers.

Raptors fans, however, should be well-aware that their basketball staff members Phil Handy (who posted the photo), John Corbacio and Jeremy Castleberry attended both workouts with Leonard. Also, Handy, a new Raptors assistant coach, previously worked with Bryant with the Lakers and James and Osman with the Cavaliers. Spurs assistant coach Chip Engelland also once helped Leonard improve his shooting form by using examples of Bryant, who has also worked out with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Kuzma and Candace Parker this offseason.

Milwaukee police officer involved in Sterling Brown arrest fired

Officer violated department’s social media policy

5:22 PMA Milwaukee police officer who was involved in the controversial arrest of Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown was fired from the department, according to remarks made by Milwaukee police Chief Alfonso Morales on Thursday.

The officer, however, was not fired for the “racially-based use of excessive force” that he was accused of by Brown’s attorney, but for violating the department’s social media policy. Speaking at Marquette University, Morales said the officer was “not involved in the initial part” of the investigation into the arrest of Brown, but “it was more of the social media,” according to Journal Sentinel reporter Ashley Luthern. Morales added that while the officer wasn’t accused of lying during the investigation, he faced a “credibility issue” on par with former Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman, known for pleading the Fifth Amendment during the O.J. Simpson murder trial after being asked if he ever used the N-word or planted evidence in any case.

According to the Journal Sentinel, Erik Andrade was the officer who was under internal investigation for violating the social media policy, which states officers can use social media sites “to the degree that their speech is not disruptive to the mission of the department” but not in “any manner which brings or is likely to bring discredit upon the department.”

Andrade was one of at least 11 officers who stopped, immobilized with a stun gun and arrested Brown for a parking violation back in January. When Brown filed suit against the department and the city of Milwaukee in June, it came to light that Andrade made a handful of questionable posts on his personal Facebook page.

The morning after the arrest, Andrade posted, “Nice meeting Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks at work this morning! Lol#FearTheDeer.” Months later, he shared a post comparing Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant’s hair to an ice cream cone with black sprinkles on it, and made his own post joking about hoping “JR Smith double parks in Walgreens handicap Parkin spots when he’s in Milwaukee” after the Cleveland Cavaliers guard made a boneheaded play at the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Brown filed a federal lawsuit on June 19 claiming unlawful arrest and excessive force after the Jan. 26 arrest. He is seeking an undetermined amount of money for compensatory and punitive damages.