NFL Owner on Protests: 'Can't Have the Inmates Running the Prison'

Houston Texans owners Bob McNair compared National Football League players to "inmates" that he didn't want "running the prison" during a meeting with team owners two weeks ago, ESPN.com reported Friday (Oct. 27). He told Josina Anderson of ESPN that 65-70% of their team would be kneeling and they decided not to remove their decals. "I think it was embarrassing". "We put our bodies and minds on the line every time we step on the field". He said his piece during a players-owners session during the meeting where both sides had an opportunity to engage about a divisive happening that's occurring during the beginning of games.

In a statement, McNair said: "I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players". I used a figure of speech that was never meant to be taken literally. And after meeting with the team on Saturday - where he apologized again - McNair claimed his "inmates" remark wasn't referring to NFL players but was actually referring to the league office.

Despite his apology, McNair's comment was enough to make several Texans players consider staging a walk out. One day earlier, Texans players considered a walkout from the team facility, and two players - star wideout DeAndre Hopkins and backup running back D'Onta Foreman - were listed as Did Not Practice-Not Injury Related on the injury report, absences that sources said were directly related to what McNair said.

Check below for Twitter reactions to McNair's comment.

However, it seems the Texans plan on publicly displaying their dissatisfaction. "Welcome to America 2017".

Mark Geragos, who is representing Kaepernick in the case, said on his podcast, "Reasonable Doubt", that McNair's comments could be relevant to his client's claim of collusion. "Showing true colores allows ppl [sic] to see you for who you are".

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that despite the meeting on Saturday, players on the Texans will protest McNair. We will show up in Seattle and play.

Trump's comments also saw the debate spill over into other sports, with National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James among those saluting the NFL demonstrators.

On Friday morning, the Texans released a statement from McNair apologizing for the characterization, which he called just a "figure of speech".

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