HOUSTON – Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, apologized Friday for his remark at last week’s NFL owners meeting about players protesting the national anthem.
According to ESPN, McNair said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” when the group was talking about ways to address the recent protests by some players during the playing of the national anthem.
"That statement stunned the room,” ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. reported.
On Friday, the Texans tweeted a statement from McNair, who expressed remorse for the statement.
Statement from Texans Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. McNair: pic.twitter.com/EXdwKZ4y4x— Texans PR (@TexansPR) October 27, 2017
“I regret that I used that expression,” McNair said. “I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players.”
McNair said he never intended for the “figure of speech” to be taken literally.
ESPN reported that only nine owners were in favor of requiring players to stand during the anthem.
Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien briefly discussed McNair in his press conference Friday.
O'Brien said he is "100 percent with his players, our coaching staff is 100 percent behind these players."
Duane Brown’s wife Devi Brown sounded off on Twitter about McNair’s comments.
My husband has put his BODY & MIND on the line for your team for 10 YRS & to you he is an “inmate”. You owe these players RESPECT & support https://t.co/RJWqgBb2NE— DEVI BROWN (@DeviBrown) October 27, 2017