Texans Coach Bill O’Brien Says He’ll Kneel Alongside Players Who Protest During The National Anthem

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Texans head coach Bill O’Brien says he will kneel along with players who decide to protest during the National Anthem.

O’Brien defended the players’ reasons for kneeling during the anthem in an interview published Friday by the Houston Chronicle.

“Yeah, I’ll take a knee — I’m all for it,” O’Brien told the outlet. “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 was outspoken about allowing his players to express their opinions after team owner Bob McNair said “we can’t have the inmates running the prison” during an owner’s meeting in 2017. (RELATED: Texans Owner: I Regret Apologizing For ‘Inmates Running The Prison’ Comment)

“When it comes to the players’ right to express themselves, I’m always for that,” O’Brien said in March of 2018, ESPN reported. “I think the players in this league, the players on our team, they have educated, intelligent opinions on what’s going on socially in the world.”

O’Brien also told the Chronicle the team’s response to the death of George Floyd wasn’t a “conscious effort.”

“It wasn’t a conscious effort,” O’Brien told the outlet. “It wasn’t like we had a conversation together and decided to do it. I think we just said enough is enough, and we’ve got to do what’s right. As an organization, we’re part of the conversation, and we want to do our part.”