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Bob McNair Compares NFL Players To Inmates, DeAndre Hopkins Takes “Personal Day”

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Cause and effect? Or not? Yikes.

NFL: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
The warden patting Inmate #10 on the back.
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

This morning, ESPN published a story by Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta, Jr. in which they reported what went down at the much ballyhooed league meeting between owners and players last week. In that story, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair is quoted as saying the following on the second day of those meetings (when players were not present):

"We can't have the inmates running the prison," McNair said.

As you can imagine, for a number of reasons, that turn of phrase has not registered well in the court of public opinion today. McNair is trending on Twitter, and it’s not because people are really excited about Sunday’s Texans-Seahawks game. McNair issued the following statement in response to the story:

In other Texans news, DeAndre Hopkins was not at practice today.

Was Nuk’s absence due to McNair’s comments? I don’t know, and neither do you, though a player taking a personal day like this seems rather unusual.

For his part, Bill O’Brien publicly backed his team.

I’ll readily admit the timing of this can easily lead one to believe the Texans’ top wide receiver left NRG Park in protest over McNair’s comments. It could also be purely coincidental that Hopkins wasn’t around today. People will undoubtedly speculate both ways, at least until Hopkins addresses it.

I don’t want this to turn into a political discussion. You have your opinion. I have mine. There are plenty of other forums for you to express a political opinion, and I urge you to head to one of those places to do so if you feel the need.

With that thought in mind, the floor is yours to discuss this Texans news item below.

UPDATE: Duane Brown weighs in on McNair’s comments.

UPDATE II: The Texans considered walking out today. Although they decided to attend practice, they’re not yet sure what they’ll do next.

UPDATE III: Adam Schefter says that Hopkins’ absence was in fact because of what McNair said.

UPDATE IV: This is nowhere near over.

UPDATE V: A transcript of some of Brown’s remarks:

UPDATE VI: Bill O’Brien is a leader of men. It looks like he, Rick Smith, and Romeo Crennel did an excellent job of handling the reaction to McNair’s comments and giving the players the opportunity to address them within the locker room.

UPDATE VII: McNair reportedly met with the players today (Saturday). Everyone is expected to be available tomorrow when the Texans take on the Seahawks.