Over the past few weeks, hundreds of NFL players have been taking a knee during the national anthem to protest against President Donald Trump and against racial inequality. Now, this has come back to bite one player in a huge way.
Independent Journal Review reported Houston Texans owner Bob McNair spoke out this week to slam the players who have been kneeling during the anthem. Afterwards, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins decided to skip practice on Friday because of McNair’s comments, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that other players “had to be persuaded to stay.”
Falcons ruled out CB Desmond Trufant for Sunday’s game vs Vikings.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 1, 2017
During an October 17 meeting with other team owners, executives and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, McNair slammed the kneeling athletes, saying, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.” This comment left some in the room “stunned,” according to ESPN reporters Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr.
McNair was later forced to apologize.
“I am truly sorry to the players for how this has impacted them and the perception that it has created of me which could not be further from the truth,” he said. “Our focus going forward, personally and as an organization, will be towards making meaningful progress regarding the social issues that mean so much to our players and our community.”
He later issued another apology.
“I regret that I used that expression,” his statement 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.”
Statement from Texans Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. McNair: pic.twitter.com/EXdwKZ4y4x
— Texans PR (@TexansPR) October 27, 2017
McNair insisted that he was “referring to the relationship between the league office and team owners and how they have been making significant strategic decisions affecting our league without adequate input from ownership over the past few years.”
Frankly, we think it’s sad that McNair was forced to apologize when the kneeling players have still not apologized for disrespecting our great nation. We’re sick and tired of watching millionaire NFL players kneeling before the American flag!
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