Texans owner Bob McNair apologizes for ‘inmates’ comment on NFL players
Sports Pulse: Trysta Krick discusses Houston Texans owner Bob McNair poor choice of words on NFL players. USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair issued an apology Friday after a story by ESPN’s Outside the Lines quoted him as making an offensive statement during NFL owners meetings last week.
In a discussion about player protests during the national anthem, and the effects the protests were having on NFL business, McNair said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” according to a story by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta. ESPN reported that NFL vice president of football operations, Troy Vincent, a longtime NFL player, was offended, and McNair later apologized personally.
He extended that apology Friday after the story’s publication.
“I regret that I used that expression. I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players,” McNair wrote in a statement released by the Texans. “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.”
McNair has been a donor to President Donald Trump, and is viewed in the league as an ally to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the lone NFL owner to publicly state he would bench players for protesting during the national anthem.
Owners did not vote to change league policy to require players to stand during the anthem. ESPN reported that only nine owners were in favor of such a rule change.
The current game operations manual states that players “should” stand.
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