Houston Texans Take a Knee to Protest McNair’s Comments: Your Texas Roundup
Plus: Astros are one win away from being World Series champions, Ken Paxton is cleared in a bribery investigation, and Sid Miller makes yet another bad joke.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“When you break it down, we represent all of Texas. I know there’s two (MLB) teams in Texas, but when there’s so much devastation and in particular in Houston and Corpus, it makes it feel like your home had been devastated, and that’s what we had talked about playing for after everything. At that point when we couldn’t come back home to help out in any way possible, that’s when we said, ‘Hey, we’re going to finish this season for all of Houston and everybody who’s been affected.’ It definitely resonates back home just because personally I played in Corpus and the surrounding areas.”
—Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel to the Houston Chronicle on Saturday. After Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston in August, the Astros hope to bring the World Series trophy home. They’re now 27 outs away from pulling it off.
Taking a Stand
Most players on the Houston Texans took a knee during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against Seattle in protest of racially insensitive comments made by team owner Bob McNair, according to the Houston Chronicle. ESPN reported last week that, at an NFL owners meeting earlier this month, McNair said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” when discussing players protesting police brutality and racial injustice. Star wide receiver Deandre Hopkins and running back D’Onta Foreman left practice early on Friday in protest, and McNair publicly apologized and met privately with the team. Apparently that meeting didn’t go smoothly (when asked how it went, team leader Duane Brown told the Chronicle, “uh, not too well”). All but ten Texans players protested by kneeling during the national anthem on Sunday. “It was a lot of emotions going in for our team, just a huge sense of unity,” Brown told the Chronicle after the game. “We all felt like playing for each other, forgetting everything else. Once kickoff was started, we tried to block out any more distractions we had.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The Houston Astros are one win away from the franchise’s first-ever World Series title, after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 13-12 in ten innings on Sunday night. Game five was arguably one of the best and most memorable World Series games of all time. It was a true rollercoaster ride, with the Astros falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, then coming back to tie the game twice before taking an 11-8 lead in the seventh inning. The Astros held a 12-9 lead going into the ninth, but they couldn’t fend off the Dodgers, who sent the game to extra innings by scoring three runs. Astros third baseman Alex Bregman finally ended it in the bottom of the tenth with a single that scored the winning run. Whether it was the best World Series game ever may be up for the debate, but it was certainly among the longest. According to USA Today, game five is the second-longest game in World Series history, clocking out at five hours and seventeen minutes—almost cruelly long, given the heart-stopping action throughout all ten innings. The Astros also became just the second team in World Series history to come back from multiple three-run deficits in one game, and combined, both teams have hit twenty two home runs, the most in any World Series ever. And remember, they’ve only played five games! The Astros will have a chance to win the Series in game six in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton can breathe easier after some of his legal troubles have gone away. On Friday, the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office announced that a $100,000 donation to Paxton’s legal fund did not constitute bribery, according to the Texas Tribune. Paxton was being investigated under bribery and corrupt-influence laws after he accepted a six-figure gift from a CEO whose company was being investigated by the state for fraud. In July 2016, Austin-based medical device company Preferred Imaging LLC agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement after a multiyear Medicaid and Medicare fraud investigation; the year before, the company’s CEO, James Webb, gave $100,000 to help Paxton’s legal defense against criminal securities fraud charges. Apparently, Paxton didn’t break any state laws limiting the gifts that public servants can receive from people subject to their jurisdiction. Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Wiley said in a news release Friday that because Webb and Paxton had previously had a “personal relationship” and “attorney/client relationship,” the donation wasn’t a bribe.
Sid Being Sid
Sid Miller, the controversial (see: Jesus Shot) Texas Agriculture Commissioner, is back in trouble after posting a racist joke on his Facebook page on Sunday, according to the Houston Chronicle. “My friend was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, his savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., he decided to call the Suicide Lifeline,” Miller wrote in the post, which has since been deleted. “He got a call center in Pakistan, and when he told them he was suicidal, they got all excited and asked if he could drive a truck.” Miller has a history of posting racist and insensitive jokes to his social media pages. He once re-posed a meme suggesting “the Muslim world” should be nuked, and wrote that he wanted to slap people who wish him “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas.” His Twitter account also called Hillary Clinton the c-word on Twitter last year.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Pregnancy and childbirth are killing African-American women at disturbingly high rates Los Angeles Times
Two Navy SEALs are being investigated in the strangling of a Green Beret from Lubbock The New York Times
A family in Brownsville fears a border wall would cut them off from their family cemetery San Antonio Express-News
Plano-based Rent-A-Center seems to be really, really bad for customers NerdWallet
The Texas State football team’s airplane hit a coyote on the runway, and the team doctor tried to save it SEC Country