Renowned NFL star JJ Watt gracefully addressed a controversial statement from ex-NFL player Rashard Mendenhall, who criticized “average white guys” for poor NFL commentary and proposed a racially segregated Pro Bowl.
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
On X, Watt, a three-time Player of the Year, was asked about Mendenhall’s comments. Mendenhall, a former Pittsburgh Steeler, expressed his frustration with white commentators in football and criticized his ex-coach, Mike Tomlin, who is Black. He suggested replacing the Pro Bowl with a race-based competition, writing, “Y’all not even good at football. Can we please replace the Pro Bowl with an All-Black vs. All-White bowl…” His post received more negative responses than support, indicating widespread disapproval.
Watt humorously remarked that the White Team would struggle against players like Tyreek Hill, while also making light of the idea of a racially divided bowl.
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
Confronted by a follower about seemingly overlooking racism, Watt urged understanding and humor. He reflected on Mendenhall’s remarks about white players’ skills, finding them baseless, and chose to respond lightheartedly rather than confrontationally.
Watt’s approach offered a refreshing perspective on X, a platform often embroiled in heated racial debates. His stance aligns with the NFL’s goal of keeping race out of football commentary, a principle emphasized during the Black Lives Matter movement to foster inclusivity.
Mendenhall later shifted his stance amid backlash, questioning criticisms of Tomlin’s playoff record without considering variables like quarterback performance, thereby changing the focus of his argument.