Houston (AFP) – Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien plans to kneel in solidarity alongside players protesting during the US national anthem next season, a report said Friday.
O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle he is ready to show support for players who protest police brutality and racial injustice.
“Yeah, I’ll take a knee — I’m all for it,” O’Brien told Chronicle.
“The players have a right to protest, a right to be heard and a right to be who they are. They’re not taking a knee because they’re against our flag. They’re taking a knee because they haven’t been treated equally in this country for over 400 years.”
O’Brien’s comments reflect the shifting attitudes towards player protests in the NFL in the wake of nationwide demonstrations following the death in police custody of unarmed Minneapolis man George Floyd last month.
Last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would support peaceful protests by players.
The NFL’s u-turn came four years after former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was vilified for starting his kneeling protests against racial injustice.
O’Brien, meanwhile, was among several representatives from the Texans who attended Floyd’s funeral in Houston earlier this week.
O’Brien said the Texans were “trying to find ways to fight racial injustice in this country.”
“I think we just said enough is enough, and we’ve got to do what’s right,” O’Brien said.
“As an organization, we’re part of the conversation, and we want to do our part.”