The Most Important Words J.J. Watt Ever Has Spoken: ‘It’s Disgusting’

John P. Lopez
May 28, 2020 - 3:46 am

(SportsRadio 610) -- It was at first subtle, but then indisputable.

J.J. Watt crossed into altogether uncharted territory Wednesday afternoon and, while not his most public or publicized moment, it may have been his most important.

Social advocacy.

I've seen the video,” Watt said, when asked about the gut-wrenching death of an African-American Minneapolis man -- originally from Houston’s Third Ward -- who died while handcuffed and restrained, pleading with an officer who held him down with a knee on his neck. “And I think it's disgusting.”

It was a moment unlike anything we’ve seen from Watt, whose generosity and advocacy have been far-reaching for years, but never crossed into a realm that polarizes.

He’s been charitable. He’s championed innumerable causes. He’s helped guide Houston and other communities through the toughest of times, from Hurricane Harvey to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

But never has Watt taken a side. Never has he done anything that could be considered controversial.

Speaking up for Houston native George Floyd and the treatment of African-Americans by police, Watt did exactly that. And considering it was Watt who spoke up, the words may resonate louder than any NFL player who’s protested the same topic.

This was, after all, not an often-vocal activist raising a fist or taking a knee. It was J.J., everybody’s All-American. This was not someone unconcerned about image or tarnishing their reputation. This was J.J., whose pristine Q-rating and warm personality will lead to a long and lucrative post-football future.

But in the moment he was asked about George Floyd, none of that seemed to matter. In fact, it was a question Watt not only seemed willing to answer, but hoped would be asked: “Have you kept up with Houston native George Floyd being killed by police in Minneapolis?

Watt nodded his head. He clenched his jaw and his face grew stern.

I think that there's no explanation for it,” Watt said. “To me, it doesn't make any sense. I just don't see how a man in handcuffs on the ground who was clearly detained and clearly saying, 'in distress,' I don't understand how that situation can't be remedied in a way that doesn't end in his death.

“I think it needs to be addressed strongly, obviously. I don't see how that situation makes any sense whatsoever. Anybody who saw the video, I don't know how you can defend it. I mean, it's terrible. It's extremely difficult to watch. It's upsetting. I don't understand it.”

Watt seemed willing to speak more about the topic, but the Zoom meeting moved on to football topics and other things after his response. Watt answered every question as he always does, cordially giving reporters exactly what they wanted for their stories.

But make no mistake. J.J. shifted gears Wednesday afternoon.

He may have changed altogether. He let his voice be heard on a social issue, and it was one of the best things he’s ever done.

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