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The Houston Texans are trying so hard to change their image that they’re donating to HBCUs


Cal McNair, the Trump supporter who said “China virus” last year? He’s giving money to an HBCU?

Cal McNair, the Trump supporter who said “China virus” last year? He’s giving money to an HBCU?
Image: Getty Images

Hateful people run the same plays when they’re up against the wall. Misogynists tell us they have daughters. Homophobes claim they “love everyone” as God instructed. And racists surrounded themselves with people from the community they’ve discriminated against.

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That’s what Houston Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair did earlier this week as he stood in a room full of Black people in a Black city on the campus of a Historically Black College and University to announce that his team was partnering with Texas Southern University to improve their athletic facilities and funds.

Brian Flores has him shook.

“TSU is a pillar in our community and a desired destination for top students and athletes and future leaders,” said McNair during Wednesday’s press conference. “At the Texans, we strive to make an impact by creating and supporting programs like this. We’re excited to be here announcing a special partnership with our friends at TSU to inspire our next generation of Houston leaders.”

A statement like that, from a man with McNair’s reputation, with a sign that said “Texans Care” behind him, is just as laughable as it is audacious and disrespectful. Because while TSU should more than happily accept the financial support from McNair and his team, it doesn’t mean that it provides absolution for his sins.

Last fall, McNair had to apologize for a racist comment he made when he grabbed a microphone in front of a small audience at a charity event and said, “I’m sorry that we couldn’t get together last year, because of the China Virus.” The man who donated to Trump’s 2016 campaign forgot that what’s done in the dark always comes to light.

McNair runs a team that habitually trades away its best Black players and overlooks Black coaches like Eric Bieniemy. He’d rather have someone like Bill O’Brien as his coach, who quickly lost the respect of the locker room after repeatedly wasting the talents of his best players. The way that Brian Flores and his lawyers see it, the only reason that McNair’s team has a Black coach now is that his class-action lawsuit led to the team removing Flores from their shortlist, making them unable to hire Josh McCown like they wanted to.

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Before McNair came into power, his father, Bob, was in charge. And trust, he’s a chip off the old block. Bob is the one that double down on his, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” remark when players started kneeling and was showing support for Jerry Richardson when he sold the Carolina Panthers after an investigation discovered that he was running a franchise that was a cesspool of racism and sexual harassment.

But, despite all that, this week, Cal McNair wanted the world to know that the “Texans Care.” Kudos to Texas Southern for taking the money. Shame on the McNair family for thinking that their charity will provide them any goodwill. There isn’t a check big enough they could write to buy that.

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