Legendary defensive end JJ Watt took the high road when asked about recent comments by another NFL former star who blamed “average white guys” for the NFL’s dismal commentary lately and suggested the Pro Bowl should be segregated between Black and White players.
Responding to questions on X, the three-time Player of the Year was asked for his thoughts on a remark by former Pittsburgh Steeler Rashard Mendenhall where the running back said he is “sick of average white guys commenting on football” in response to criticism of his former coach, Mike Tomlin, who is also Black.
“Y’all not even good at football. Can we please replace the Pro Bowl with an All-Black vs. All-White bowl so these cats can stop trying to teach me who’s good at football. I’m better than ur (sic) goat,” Mendenhall wrote. The post was severely ratio’d with only 9,300 reposts and more than 22,000 replies, typically a sign that users are mocking the comment.
Watt initially joked that the White Team would get “cooked corner” by wide receiver Tyreek Hill before laughing about what an “All-Black vs. All-White bowl” would look like.
We’d get cooked at corner, not gonna lie.
Nobody on our squad is covering Tyreek 😂 https://t.co/CLCugkM4LS
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) December 18, 2023
After one follower accused Watt of ignoring blatant racism, the former Houston Texan told his fan to take the banter in jest.
“Buddy, listen… We don’t need to be offended by everything in the entire world. He said white guys can’t play football. I thought to myself ‘I’m a white guy. I’m very good at football’ and concluded that his statement had no validity.”
“Instead of arguing, I had some fun. End.”
We don’t need to be offended by everything in the entire world.
He said white guys can’t play football.
I thought to myself “I’m a white guy. I’m very good at football” and concluded that his statement had no validity.
Instead of arguing, I had some fun.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) December 19, 2023
Watt’s retort may seem like a breath of fresh air on X where liberals and conservatives regularly go for the jugular over issues of race. Keeping race out of football commentary, after all, is what the NFL intended at the height of the Black Lives Matter when it launched a campaign to encourage inclusivity despite frequent liberal attacks on teams and fans who celebrate Native American heritage.
Hours after his remark drew swift outrage, Mendenhall pivoted to play the victim.
“I don’t understand how you can talk about Tomlin’s playoff record, without acknowledging that Kenny Pickett has only played one year,” he added. “Who was the QB for all those playoff loses?!! Literally all of them. Make up your minds. How you arbitrarily separate Mike & Ben in de (sic) W/L column?” he wrote.