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Players Respond
Oct 29, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Houston Texans inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney (55), linebacker Ben Heeney (50), strong safety Marcus Gilchrist (21) and teammates kneel during the national anthem before kickoff against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Texans Players Respond to Owner’s Comment

Nearly 30 Houston Texans players decided to kneel or sit during the National Anthem in their game Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. This was in response to an insensitive comment made by their owner Bob McNair comparing players to “inmates.”

McNair’s comment was made earlier this month at an owners meeting about the ongoing player demonstrations during the anthem, when he said, “we can’t have the inmates running the prison.” This comment was made public on Friday when an ESPN The Magazine article was published about the meeting.

DeAndre Hopkins Reponse
Oct 29, 2017; Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Upon hearing the words said by their owner, multiple Texans players considered leaving practice early on Friday, and many didn’t leave, but rookie running back D’Onta Foreman did. And star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins took personal day, not even showing up for practice.

Two days after his practice exit, Foreman told Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson, “I’m still upset. I still feel like some things shouldn’t be said, but you got to deal with it. I was upset. I feel like my family that’s been supporting the Texans since they started the franchise and me growing up watching this franchise, a comment like that is definitely going to hit home with me.

“I have a daughter. Even though she’s young, that’s something you got to stand on morals and principles. I was brought up like that. You have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. I want to be here. I love my teammates.”

McNair Apologizes

McNair issued an apology on Friday and again on Saturday saying that his comments were misinterpreted. When he met with the team on Saturday morning he expressed deep regret about what he said.

After meeting with McNair, the Texans held a team meeting about how to handle Sunday. There had been talk about the team removing the logos on their helmets, but ultimately, they didn’t do that.

Addressing the Situation

After the game, multiple players were asked questions about the McNair’s comments. Jonathan Joseph did express what he thought about the comment.

Other Texans like DeAndre Hopkins and Duane Brown decided to steer clear of saying anything of substance.

Head coach Bill O’Brien was asked if he supported his players, and here’s what he had to say:

NFL Players Reactions

Current and former NFL players went to social media to share their thoughts on the situation as well.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman:

Current Jacksonville Jaguars and former Houston Texan wide receiver Jaelen Strong:

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon LaFell:

Former running back Reggie Bush:

Houston Texans Treston Decoud:

Lastly, the meetings earlier this month, which sparked this topic, didn’t result in any policy change that would enforce that players stand during the National Anthem. NFL owners and players will meet again in the weeks coming up to discuss more initiatives to take in the kneeling matter.

About Lauren Cavasinni

North Carolina Native with a passion for sports. Follow me on twitter @lcavasinni11

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