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Texans owner takes stand against protesting NFL players: ‘We can’t have inmates running the prison’

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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.”

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“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.

Despite the expression being common, many were quick to accuse the owner of racism.

And some could not resist the chance to bring President Donald Trump’s name into it.

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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Carmine Sabia

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