Deshaun Watson has found his voice and is using it to speak out against racism in the NFL. The Houston Texans quarterback says he was conditioned to believe he wasn’t smart enough and lacked the education needed to speak out.
According to a recent interview with ESPN, the football player gets vulnerable and opens up about how he thinks the world perceives him as a Black quarterback.
“To keep it real with you, I feel like whenever a Black quarterback speaks up, the outside world sometimes doesn’t think they’re educated enough to know what’s going on. So in reality, they’re like, ‘Hey, y’all Black quarterbacks — shut up. Y’all don’t know what y’all talking about.’ “
The 24-year-old says he feels the pressure that comes with being the head of a team. Waston says especially as a Black quarterback he is aware that folks are judging his every move, from what he wears to how he speaks. He goes on to say his insecurities stem from the racism he experienced as a child growing up in Georgia and how these issues shaped his world view.
“But the way I grew up, and the way I saw it, it was kind of normal. So as a young boy, it was kind of like, ‘I guess this is the way it should be.’ And this is the way it has been for a long time.”
But he isn’t allowing those fears to hold him back anymore. Watson, who recently signed a $160M contract and four-year extension, appeared in a video calling for the NFL to address racism in the league. Racism remains an issue in the world of the NFL. But per ESPN, Watson is hopeful for the future.
“It feels like a change is happening. It feels like voices are getting heard.”