Deshaun Watson Gifts Jerseys To George Floyd's High School Via Nike's "Stronger Than One" Campaign
In what has been an incredibly difficult year, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson gave Jack Yates High School something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season. Watson gave the football team, which George Floyd played for as a high schooler, special jerseys honoring the man who died at the hands of police in May. Watson's gift is documented in the latest episode of Nike's "Stronger Than One" campaign.
Watson, a two-time Pro Bowler, wore the jersey, which features a George Floyd patch on the front and the word "Brotherhood" on the nameplate, prior to the Texans' Thanksgiving game against the Detroit Lions, according to The Undefeated. As a Black man from small-town Georgia, he had a personal connection to the Yates Lions.
"I didn't go to school for social justice. I didn't go to school for politics, but I can have my opinion on what I believe and what I've experienced," Watson, a graduate of Clemson University, said in the video. "I'm trying to bring awareness and deal and bring up problems that I've dealt with and set things in the right path for the next generation."
When Floyd died in May, it sparked increased awareness about injustices in America. Watson marched with the community of Third Ward and Floyd's family after his death.
"I was sad, I was frustrated, I was disappointed. Everything that you can imagine, I felt at that time," Watson expressed.
Brandon Williams, George Floyd's nephew, also appears in the video along with members of the football team. He explained the role that his uncle, lovingly known as Big Floyd, held in the neighborhood.
"He was a staple in the community," he said. "There's a lot of violence and poverty here, and one thing George wanted was to rise above it."
The video was directed by New York-based artist Joshua Kissi, who has shot numerous magazine covers, including for Paper and People.
"The approach was quite simple here : it was based around letting each person featured in this piece act as a mirror," he said on Instagram. "When you see yourself you immediately humanize others whether from DeShaun's perspective as a professional athlete, Broderick an aspiring athlete or Brandon who acts as a mirror to the community through George Floyd's legacy. The idea of Brotherhood isn't a singular act or reserved for one person-- it's shared by many."
The photography for the campaign was done by Houston artist Cary Fagan. His signature style has made him a leading name in visual media as he has worked with Solange, A$AP Rocky and more.
"It took me a while to find my style," he shared earlier this year with Overly Conversated. "I just recently found my voice, I know what my role is, what my goals are, what my direction is. ... For years, I've always been searching for my style. I noticed that I love to shoot very dark, very dark settings and then settings with low light but also shooting in the camera with low light. I love challenging my settings. It's always different every time."
Watson's "Stronger Than One" video follows Los Angeles Rams player Aaron Donald's episode where he partnered with Nike to donate $20,000 to the Watts Rams youth football team for technology and other resources.