The Houston Texans players released a powerful video outlining their fight against racial inequality. In an organized message from all position groups, players highlighted the recent killings at the hands of police such as George Floyd, Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor and posted it on social media Wednesday night.
"No one should feel scared for their life simply because of the color of their skin."
"No one should question their level of equality because of the color of their skin."
"No one should feel like the color of their skin increases the chances that the people who have been put in place to protect them, may be the very ones who end up killing them."
"No one should have their neck knelt on for eight minutes and 46 seconds while unarmed and already detained by four officers."
Texans players have been involved in social justice initiatives this offseason, but after last week's scrimmage, decided to come up with a plan of action. Stills, Thomas, Watson and Watt spoke to the players who wanted to come up with an initiative that was direct and could affect real change when it comes to social justice.
"It's just like trying to figure out, is there some type of legislation that we can change, a type of law? You look at the George Floyd bill that was either proposed on the state level in Texas or the George Floyd bill that was passed on the federal level in Congress by Congresswoman (Sheila) Jackson Lee," Thomas said. "Those are some things that we can pass that can create real change because that's the type of accountability we're looking for to try to change the laws of qualified immunity."
The Texans finalized their six-part plan of action detailing how they are committed to change through action, including helping to pass legislation designed to fight social injustices and systemic racism against the black community.
Action 1: Vote
"Voting is our right and our responsibility. We will educate ourselves and cast our votes for candidates who share our values and vision. We believe voting should be easy and accessible to all. We are Texans and We are Voters! Join us!
"Use our voices to encourage political leaders to pass the federal George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, a commonsense bill with bipartisan support, as well as the state George Floyd Act proposed by the Legislative Black Caucus. These acts address policing practices and law enforcement accountability, including a limit to qualified immunity narrowed use of force rules and mandates for proportional response by officers. We stand in solidarity with the Baltimore Ravens demand this act be expeditiously brought to the Senate Floor and passed to honor Houston native George Floyd."
Action 3: Support and engage with community organizations fighting for change in Houston and Texas
"Two of these groups include Restoring Justice and the Texas Civil Rights Project. Restoring Justice focuses on protecting marginalized members of the community facing criminal charges by providing them with legal representations, bail funds and counseling services. The Texas Civil Rights Project is a community lawyering organizations that fights in and out of the courts for a fair, more just Texas."
Action 4: Personally invest in change
"Devote our own resources and time to grassroots organizations, including the Texas Civil Rights Project and Restoring Justice, to bring equality, equity and justice to the Houston community."
Action 5: Raise our voices in support
"We will work with our community partners to advocate for changes to discriminatory practices in our justice system. We support:
- Cash bail reform. Unconvicted people, who are presumed innocent comprise approximately 80 percent of the Harris County jail population. They cannot afford to pay their bail, leaving them incarcerated until their trial dates, which may not be for years. Your freedom should not be conditional on your wealth and no one should profit from the incarceration of our communities.
- Eradicating prison gerrymandering in Texas. This is the practice of counting people where they are imprisoned rather than where they are from, which disempowers people of color. It leads to overrepresentations of rural, less-populated districts and the underrepresentation of urban districts struggling with mass incarceration. Our democracy should reflect full participation by every community in Texas."
"Be champions for diversity and inclusion in Houston. Let our actions be an inspiration for local businesses and schools to join us in creating opportunities for marginalized people of color through mentorships, diversity and inclusion training and networking opportunities."
This offseason, the Houston Texans Co-founder and Senior Chair Janice McNair, Chairman and Chief Officer Cal McNair, Houston Texans Foundation Vice President Hannah McNair launched a ten-part video series titled, "Conversations for Change," aimed to continue the dialogue about racism and social injustice.
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