Lynn Redden, a former superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District in Texas, had posted a public offensive message regarding the quarterback of the Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson, by mistake.
Thinking he was writing a private message, the superintendent did not realize he was posting his words for everyone to see on Facebook, where he claimed: “you can’t count on a black quarterback.”
Furthermore, Redden also stated that Watson might be “the most inept quarterback decision” he has ever seen on NFL.
What prompted Redden to write such harsh words was the loss of the Houston Texans when they could not achieve victory against the Tennessee Titans with 20-17 as the final score.
Shortly before the end of the game, Watson made the wrong decision to pass the ball to fellow teammate DeAndre Hopkins with a delay that deprived his team of the chance of scoring and finishing the game ahead.
However, Redden did not notice that what he wrote was not a private message.
The post later removed. Redden admitted that he regretted his words and wished he had never posted the message.
In his position as the superintendent of the school district, Redden is responsible for 1,130 students and 175 school employees.
For a short time, he appeared not at risk from losing his job or facing any disciplinary charges, and he had stated that he understands how his post could be viewed as racist. He eventually lost his post.
The man wrote in a letter: “As an educator, this experience has taught me that I still have a lot to learn. My comments were not only uninformed but also hurtful, and I understand now why they were offensive to so many people.”
He later explained that his message was based on the statistical analysis of the success rate of black quarterbacks in the NFL.
Coach Bill O’Brien among others defended the NFL star. O’Brien stated: “I really don’t want to waste a lot of time responding to outdated, inaccurate, ignorant, idiotic statements. I’ll just let Deshaun’s proven success on the field, his character off the field, speak for itself.”
The viral story has sparked a real conversation about freedom of speech.
Was Redden’s note offensive?