Nearly all of the Houston Texans’ NFL players took a knee during the singing of the national anthem on Sunday, October 29. The Texans were protesting Houston Texans owner Bob McNair likening them to “inmates running the prison.” As seen in the below video, at least 19 players took a knee during the national anthem prior to the start of the game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Those Texans players that weren’t kneeling stood and held the hand of their teammate that was kneeling, presenting a united front against the recent comments made by McNair. Bob eventually issued a mea culpa for his words, when the idiom was viewed as an insult against players on the Houston Texans team.
According to the Hill, the bulk of the players on the team chose to take a knee during the anthem, in spite of the apology that McNair later issued about his “inmates” comment.
“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.”
McNair spoke of NFL players being “inmates running the prison” during a meeting of NFL owners. The comment reverberated throughout the web with racial connotations in the wake of the quote going viral.
On Twitter, the Texans’ protest brought a variety of responses. According to the below photo’s description, 10 members of the Texans team stood during the national anthem, while other players knelt. Certain Seattle Seahawks football players sat as the national anthem was sung, like Michael Bennett and at least two other teammates. While Michael sat on the bench during the singing of the national anthem prior to the NFL football game against the Texans, a couple of his teammates stood nearby, with their hands on one another.
Other football players knelt on Sunday as well, including San Francisco 49ers players. Two Philadelphia Eagles players raised their fists during the national anthem, including Malcolm Jenkins, prior to their game against the San Francisco 49ers in Philadelphia on Sunday.
The reaction to the “inmates running the prison” comment included Rev. Jesse Jackson accusing NFL owners of possessing a “plantation mentality” against their football players.
[Featured Image by Elaine Thompson/AP Images]