Following some incredibly insensitive comments by Houston Texans team owner Bob McNair this week, the Houston Texans decided to stage a team protest before the kickoff of their matchup with the Seahawks on Sunday.
The Texans players reportedly met on Saturday to discuss options for expressing their frustrations at McNair’s sentiments. Though they considered several options, including peeling the team decals off of their helmets or staying in the locker room for the anthem, the Texans decided to kneel as a group during the national anthem on Sunday. The majority of the team reportedly took a knee or sat, while only a handful of players remained standing.
Almost every member of the Texans took a knee during the national anthem in protest of Bob McNair's comments pic.twitter.com/IZxY28Zytk— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 29, 2017
This protest stems from comments made by McNair in an NFL owner’s meeting earlier this month, the most incendiary of which was “we can’t have the inmates running the prison.” These statements were released in an ESPN article earlier this week.
In the wake of league-wide protests by players to protest police brutality and racial inequality, these comments by McNair were ill-advised at best, and at worst indicative of widespread issues in the NFL.
Several Texans players have responded to McNair’s comments, either on Twitter or to the media. These are just a few of them:
Duane Brown on Bob McNair 'I think the comments were disrespectful and ignorant'— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) October 27, 2017
I don’t believe he is the only owner that feel that way... smh— Treston Decoud (@_TD31) October 27, 2017
✊— Stephen Anderson (@S_Anderson89) October 27, 2017
Other notable responses to McNair’s comments included the absence of star receiver DeAndre Hopkins and rookie running back D’Onta Foreman, both of whom were absent from practice for ‘personal reasons’ on the day of the article’s release. Hopkins absence is said to be a direct response to McNair’s statement.
UT said it best when he wrote on this topic earlier in the week: Make your voice heard in the comments section below. For everyone’s sake, please be civil in discussing this. It’s a sensitive issue and the last thing we need is to close down yet another thread and start banning people for being [kittens] to each other.