The Houston Texans are reportedly in “revolt” after team owner Bob McNair referred to NFL players as “inmates” in a meeting among league owners, with many players reportedly considering walking out, and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins even skipping practice on Friday.
McNair made the comment this week at a meeting meant to find common ground over player protests during the national anthem. In reference to the protests, ESPN reported that McNair said “we can’t have the inmates running the prison,” a statement that did not sit well with players.
After the meeting, NFL executive Troy Vincent told McNair that he took issue with the comments and McNair apologized. The Houston Texans owner also issued a public apology after his statement was reported by ESPN.
“I regret that I used that expression,” McNair said in a statement. “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.”
But the apology is apparently not sitting well with the Texans players. Reports indicated that the players planned what was reported as a “revolt” and wanted to walk out on owner Bob McNair, but were persuaded not to go through with it.
Texans players wanted to walkout today in response to owner Bob McNair’s comments, per @sarahbarshop. Had to be persuaded to stay.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2017
But some players are reportedly still angry with McNair. Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was not at practice on Friday, which was reportedly connected to McNair’s comments.
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins’ absence from practice today was related to Bob McNair’s comments, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2017
It is not clear whether the situation could spill over to Sunday’s game when the Texans take on the Seattle Seahawks. Houston is 3-3 and in the thick of the hunt for supremacy in the AFC South, making this an especially difficult time for such a big off-the-field distraction.
The Houston Texans took part in a show of unity during the national anthem following President Donald Trump’s comments in September that owners should fire players who take a knee during the anthem. Texans owner Bob McNair is one of the largest donors to the Republican Party among NFL owners, and he donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee, the Houston Chronicle noted.
While the NFL rumors have hinted at a revolt among the Houston Texans, no players have gone on the record yet about the drama behind the scenes.
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