Houston Texans owner Bob McNair is getting a lot of attention for his comments on national anthem protests in the NFL. In particular, media are reacting to his explosive reference to football players being akin to “inmates running the prison.”
“We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” McNair said during last week’s owners meeting, ESPN reported Friday.
“I regret that I used that expression,” McNair later said. “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.”
NFL executive, and former player, Troy Vincent took offense to the comments at the Oct. 18 meeting.
McNair pulled Vincent aside after the meeting and apologized for his choice of words, noting that he did not intend to have the comment taken literally, which, according to ESPN, Vincent was happy with.
But the apology and statement were not good enough for many on social media, including suspended ESPN commentator Jemele Hill.
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
Hey @HoustonTexans I’m a fan & am pretty disgusted with our racist owner Bob McNair. I support our players and I hope they all take a knee.
— Asscat (@theasscat) October 27, 2017
Bob McNair isn’t alone I bet you at least 3/4 of @NFL owners think of their players as “inmates.” Sadly, many fans & media also agree.
— Always_thecontrarian (@Da_contrarian) October 27, 2017
Despite the expression being common, many were quick to accuse the owner of racism.
It’s old white men like Bob Mcnair who teach hate in their homes that keep the racist train rolling.
— LOW 9z (@LOWNINEZ) October 27, 2017
What Bob Mcnair said is about as racist as it gets… if Donald Sterling was removed from the NBA..so should the Houston Texans Owner @NFL
— Loso (@Gon_Paolo) October 27, 2017
Bob McNair’s follow-up essentially boils down to this: I apologize that anyone is offended that I’m a racist POS.
— RedNinetyFour (@RedNinetyFour) October 27, 2017
Yeppers, another damn racist ass Bob McNair. He needs to STFU and kiss our asses. Shame on him!
— BabyGirl (@babygirlme101) October 27, 2017
And some could not resist the chance to bring President Donald Trump’s name into it.
Black people need to understand that Bob McNair is just saying what A LOT of white supremacist think including @realDonaldTrump
— Anti-White Supremacy (@GlobalProBlack) October 27, 2017
— Jackie (@LiberalMmama) October 27, 2017
To be VERY clear, Bob McNair is a huge Trump donor. Sees himself as the warden and NFL players as the prisoners. https://t.co/8gCjtHJ63F
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 27, 2017
Bob McNair, owner of the Texans, who said “We can’t have inmates running the prison,” also gave one million dollars to Trump’s inauguration.
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) October 27, 2017
Texans Bob McNair said, “we can’t have the inmates running the prison,” but after backing Trump, he’s fine with inmates running the country.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) October 27, 2017
Bob McNair gave more to the combo of the Trump campaign, aligned Super PACs, and inaugural committee than any NFL owner https://t.co/DksDdVOhEv
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) October 27, 2017
Whether or not the team owner’s phrase was worded well, it’s quite a stretch to literally compare millionaire NFL players to “slaves” or “prisoners.”
Even if the Texans’ owner could have worded his statement better, the underlying point still stands: NFL players are employees of the team owners, and if their behavior doesn’t reflect well on the team, the owners have the right to make the rules. That’s just life – progressive outrage aside.
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