Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was surely bothered by his team’s lackluster performance in an opening night 34-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
But after the game, Watt said he was a bit bothered by something that happened before the game even took place.
Prior to the inaugural game of the 2020-2021 NFL season, the Texans and Chiefs linked arms in the middle of the field during a “moment of silence” for the sake of equality.
The usual controversy stirred when it came to athletes and social justice demonstrations, but this one featured an added twist — Chiefs fans could be heard booing during the “moment of silence.”
— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2020
Naturally, this led to a deluge of social media reactions that hijacked the fact that the NFL was making it’s annual return to cultural relevance:
Booing equality is…pretty telling.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) September 11, 2020
What’s worse than a milquetoast, inoffensive “moment of unity”? People booing that milquetoast, inoffensive “moment of unity.”
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) September 11, 2020
But it wasn’t just social media pundits who heard the booing.
As mentioned above, Watt, who by all accounts appears to be a class act, took notice too.
The Texans superstar fired back at the “unfortunate” booing while talking to reporters after the game.
NFL Network reporter James Palmer posted a transcription of Watt’s remarks to Twitter:
J.J. Watt’s full quote when asked about the #texans staying in the locker room and the moment of unity on the field.
“The moment of unity I personally thought was good. I mean the booing during that moment was unfortunate.” pic.twitter.com/3fGAN5qatN
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) September 11, 2020
“We made a team decision and that’s the decision we made as a team and we’re all in this thing together,” Watt said in regard to the Texans staying in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem.
“At the end of the day we are all brothers and part of a brotherhood. We had great conversations and we’ve done a lot of great things.”
When it came to the “moment of silence,” Watt condemned the booing and defended the actions of both teams.
“The moment of unity I personally thought was good. I mean the booing during that moment was unfortunate,” Watt said.
“I don’t fully understand that. There was no flag involved. There was nothing involved other than two teams coming together to show unity.”
Watt finished the game with three total tackles.
Unfortunately for Watt and his Texans defense, the Chiefs put up 377 total yards of offense, including 166 rushing yards.
The Texans face a real threat of falling to 0-2 when they host the dynamic Baltimore Ravens and reigning regular season MVP Lamar Jackson in Week 2. The Chiefs will travel to Los Angeles to play the Chargers in Week 2.
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