In 2017, an era where Trump has seemingly made outlandish, jaw-dropping statements a norm, he was outdone by Texans owner Bob McNair on Friday.
Earlier this month in October, NFL owners hand-selected by Commissioner Roger Goodell and a handful of NFL players met in New York City to talk about the protests sparked by Collin Kaepernick last year.
According to a new ESPN The Magazine piece by Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr., Bob McNair, who is a Donald Trump supporter and campaign contributor, had his two cents to add with regards to the protests. Except it ended up costing a lot more. While talking to his colleagues, he said:
“We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”
Stunning doesn’t really give justice to my reaction when first reading Jemele Hill break the ESPN Mag segment to her mass online following.
A quote that will make you cringe from Texans owners Bob McNair, re: anthem protests: “We can't have the inmates running the prison.”
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 27, 2017
I wasn’t the only one either. Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors pretty much echoed everyone’s sentiment on the subject, saying he wouldn’t play for an owner like that.
As you can imagine, some players for the Texans felt the same, telling ESPN that they contemplated staging a walkout. They learned about the owner’s comments when Texans head coach Bill O’Brien relayed it to them in an effort to prevent them from being “blindsided” by it later.
That still did not stop star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from missing the ensuing practice for a “personal day.”
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins’ absence from practice today was related to Bob McNair’s comments, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2017
Bob McNair apologized for his comments saying that he did not mean them and that he wasn’t referring to his own team. But as someone who stands behind Jerry Jones — who told his players to stand for the anthem or not play — and Donald Trump, it’s hard to take his word to heart.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) October 27, 2017
There were players that left but returned and those that were plotting a walk out were talked out of it by the coaching staff, so clearly there are unsettled feelings. So why don’t they kneel during the anthem?
The reason Colin started sitting in the first place was to shed light on injustice, and in doing so, he, and others who have joined the cause, have uncovered more injustices — many of which are embedded in their own organizations.
O’Brien said he expects Hopkins to play against the Seahawks. While the team has not decided what they’ll do for the national anthem, Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown said that he “can’t stay quiet about it.” For Brown’s full comments, check out the ESPN story here.
The Texans will play the Seahawks at 4:05 ET this Sunday.