The Houston Texans are subtly sending a signal to NFL players who kneel during the national anthem: Players are not wanted.
The sixteen-year-old pro franchise from the deep red state of Texas certainly doesn’t need the distractions or the drama as it looks to recover from a dreadful 4-12 outing in 2017.
The Houston Chronicle’s Jerome Solomon wrote:
I spoke with two NFL agents this week who said word is the Texans aren’t interested in any players who participated in pregame kneel-downs in protest of police brutality.
There is no directive within the organization, but it is considered to be understood that as desperate as the Texans are to bring in talent, the pool of potential signees and draftees will not include anyone who has participated in protests or are likely to.
The quiet internal decision that comes via the word of two NFL agents comes in the backdrop of Texans owner Bob McNair’s provocative comment last year that he didn’t want “inmates running the prison.” The ensuing racially charged fallout from the comments prompted McNair to issue an apology.
Statement from Texans Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. McNair: pic.twitter.com/EXdwKZ4y4x
— Houston Texans PR (@TexansPR) October 27, 2017
The sideshow of the national anthem protests has damaged the standing of the NFL in the eyes of both detractors who think there is no place for it on the football field and detractors who believe they do not go far enough.
Indeed, a “shock poll” from late 2017 showed the NFL has plummeted from its once-lofty echelon of most beloved American sports to the utter doldrums of most-disliked following the national anthem protest imbroglio. As the Washington Examiner reported:
From the end of August to the end of September, the favorable ratings for the NFL have dropped from 57 percent to 44 percent, and it has the highest unfavorable rating – 40 percent – of any big sport, according to the Winston Group survey provided exclusively to Secrets.
At the end of the day, it should be the right of NFL owners to offer a product that appeals to its fans. If NFL players want to protest for political causes, they are free to do that when they aren’t at work.
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