Bill O'Brien Says He'll Kneel With Texans Players During National Anthem

Ryan Phillips
Bill O'Brien coaches the Houston Texans against the New England Patriots
Bill O'Brien coaches the Houston Texans against the New England Patriots / Bob Levey/Getty Images
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Houston Texans head coach and general manager Bill O'Brien says he'll take a knee during the national anthem with his players next season. O'Brien says he's all for kneeling to protest racial inequality and police brutality.

Here's what he told the Houston Chronicle about it:

""Yeah, I'll take a knee -- I'm all for it. 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 attended George Floyd's funeral in Houston alongside Texans owner Cal McNair and several players, including J.J. Watt. Floyd grew up in Houston and his death has set off renewed calls and nationwide protests in favor of major police reforms and an end to racial inequality.

The 50-year-old coach was supportive of Texans players when they kneeled during the anthem back in 2017. That came after then-Texans owner Bob McNair set off a firestorm by saying, "We can't have the inmates running the prison," after player protests had begun leaguewide.

We'll see how his stance is received by Texans fans and the rest of the NFL. But it feels like the league is tilting towards accepting peaceful protests by its players.

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