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Houston Texans owner apologizes for remark about players

30 October 2017, 01:56 | Nina Perez

HOUSTON TEXANSTexans' Mc Nair on anthem protest Can't have inmates running prison Email none

Texans' Mc Nair on anthem protest Can't have inmates running prison

Several members of the Houston Texans NFL team considered staging a walkout from practice on Friday, over comments made by their team's owner that appeared to compare players who kneel during the national anthem to "inmates".

(The exact wording, as McNair argued for banning players from protesting during the anthem: "We can't have the inmates running the prison.") According to various reports, the Texans players-including star receiver DeAndre Hopkins-are pissed.

Among those who heard McNair's remark during the Fall League Meeting was Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president of football operations, a league source told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

McNair says he would never characterize players as inmates and apologizes to anyone offended by it. "Well, I'm not in a hospital and I'm for damn sure not in a prison".

"As I said yesterday, I was not referring to our players when I made a very regretful comment during the owners meetings last week". "But this is bigger than just the protests". You're an inmate. We can't let you guys out of line.

Outspoken Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted, "I can appreciate ppl being candid". "Just because you have a political position doesn't mean you also have to have a racist position".

A handful of owners and players have been meeting in recent weeks to see if the league can help support the players in their causes.

Texans rookie safety Treston Decoud, a fifth round pick, also sounded off, saying he believes McNair isn't the only owner to feel the way he does.

That echoed Sherman's point, that McNair's comment at least allows the players to know what they are dealing with.

They can take comfort in the words of San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York, who has been criticized by other owners for not ordering then-quarterback Colin Kaepernick to stand last season, the belief being the current "crisis" wouldn't be happening.

"It's frustrating, but I don't think it should discourage anybody".

Although I'd personally stand and put my hand over my heart for the national anthem, I can't abridge someone's constitutional right to free speech.

"That's about as good a smoking gun for collusion as you can get", he said.

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