HOUSTON, TX - Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said the National Football League can’t have the "inmates running the prison" at a recent meeting with fellow team owners, apparently referring to player protests.
“These players are protesting because there are racial inequalities in this country,” said Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis. “They were there before they got their hands on the ball and unfortunately, some of them may still be there when their hands are no longer on the ball.”
McNair has apologized for the remark saying he regrets using that expression.
“These are the inmates that if you connected the dots of the conversation would be who they were speaking of,” said Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee as she held up photos of players such as quarterback Deshaun Watson and tight end Stephen Anderson.
McNair says he would never characterize players as inmates and apologizes to anyone offended by it.
“What he said was improper,” said N.A.A.C.P. Houston president James Douglas.
The N.A.A.C.P. says it wants more than just an apology from the team owner.
“We understand what his politics are,” said Douglas. “Just because you have a political position doesn’t mean you also have to have a racist position.”
“The disrespect, the disregard is beyond our comprehension,” said Bishop James Dixon II from The Community of Faith church.
“Mr. McNair, you need to do more than apologize,” said Congressman Al Green. “One of the things you should think about doing is making it clear to others that you do not desire to have the statue of yourself placed before the stadium.”
The N.A,A.C.P. Houston leaders said McNair’s comments must be resolved face to face and that they were inviting him to a community forum on Monday night to explain what he meant by his comments.
McNair released the following statement on Friday:
I regret that I used that expression. 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.