Texans take a knee

Good for them.

On Sunday afternoon, before the Houston Texans faced off against the Seattle Seahawks in Washington, all but approximately 10 Texans took a knee during the national anthem.

This was a direct response to Texans owner Bob McNair after an ESPN report on Friday revealed that, during a meeting with other NFL owners, McNair said the league needed to put a stop to protests during the national anthem because, “We can’t have inmates running the prison.”

McNair’s comments were particularly jarring considering that the protests — which began at the start of the 2016 season when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem — are a way to draw attention to police brutality and systemic racism, which the criminal justice system only exemplifies.


McNair issued two apologies, one on Friday and one on Saturday. He also reportedly spoke with the players directly on Saturday.

“As I said yesterday, I was not referring to our players when I made a very regretful comment during the owners meetings last week,” McNair said on Saturday in his second official apology regarding his comments. “I 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.”

But an unnamed player on the Texans told Josina Anderson of ESPN that he did not accept McNair’s apology.

“I think as an owner and as a business man that is something you can’t really say,” the defensive player said. “My reaction is: that’s unacceptable and I don’t want to even hear an apology, or anything like that, because I feel like you knew what you said because you were in a room where you didn’t think it was going to leak out; so you said how you feel. So, that’s how I feel about it.”

You’ve probably seen coverage of this over the weekend, but you can refer to this ThinkProgress story, Deadspin, and the Chron for a refresher. If there’s one reason why I’ve never embraced the Texans, it’s Bob McNair. All I can say is I look forward to the day when he finally sells the team.

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7 Responses to Texans take a knee

  1. Flypusher says:

    I can’t say whether or not McNair had any racist intent by using that phrase, but at a bare minimum, it was insulting. The big friction here is between owners and a sizable fraction of the players, not the owners and the league office, so I’m not buying that spin.

    I realize that the owners are between a rock and a hard place, and the choice here is who you end up pissing off, but the owners do have a choice to not fling napalm on the fire.

  2. C.L. says:

    It’s too bad the McNair’s of the world just didn’t embrace or acknowledge the issue that started with Kaepernick’s protest to begin with – unequal treatment by those in Blue or under the Law.

  3. mollusk says:

    Embrace or acknowledge the issue? If they even comprehend the issue, it’s from the other side and considered their entitlement.

  4. Flypusher says:

    IIRC the owner of the Detroit Lions actually sat down with the players on that team and had some respectful talks about more community outreach/ speaking out on the issues important to the players.

  5. Ross says:

    I would be shocked if an 80 year old rich white guy had half a clue as to why his employees were protesting. It’s so far outside his bubble thst it’s totally foreign.

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    The initial rationale for these protests has long been forgotten, and they have become a meaningless reaction to any unwelcome statement. What other job allows employees to protest publicly at work events? Won’t someone stand up for us workers, who are silenced by our jobs.

  7. neither here nor there says:

    Wonder how many people stand up for the anthem while watching a game at home?

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