Skip to content Skip to footer

Texans owner Bob McNair apologizes for calling protesting players ‘inmates’

NFL owners gathered with a group of players last week to speak about anthem protests in order to try and find common ground and a resolution to the issue.

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has landed himself in hot water for comments made during the meeting, claiming that “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” referring to players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem.

Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr., who published an in-depth story about the meeting, wrote that McNair’s statement shocked the room,

“That statement stunned some in the room. Then Kraft, who is close friends with Trump, politely rebuked the hardliners, saying that he supported the league’s marketing proposal and predicted the issue would work itself out over time.”

League executive and former NFL player Troy Vincent immediately rebuked McNair,

“Vincent said that in all his years of playing in the NFL — during which, he said, he had been called every name in the book, including the N-word — he never felt like an ‘inmate.'”

Now, McNair has issued a statement apologizing for his language,

“I regret that I used that expression. I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players. I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally. I would never characterize our players or our league that way and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it.”


Probably not the words you want to use when NFL players are fighting police brutality and criminal justice reform. McNair’s comments just signal how out of touch NFL owners are with their employees and the general issues in our country at large.

Truly cringeworthy, if not actively malicious.