Jerry Jones: Texans owner is victim in ‘inmates’ controversy


His team is rebelling against him, but Bob McNair can still bask in the support of his fellow billionaires.

Jerry Jones pbadionately defended the Texans owner in the wake of his clumsy badogy that painted players as prisoners, with Jones indicating McNair’s controversial quote is being misconstrued.

“Bob is one of the absolute most admired people, as far as the ownership, there is in the NFL,” Jones said Tuesday on KRLD in Dallas. “And I know what Bob’s stature is in Houston. He brought football back to Houston. It’s so unfortunate that he’s had this happen for him. But he’s really a guy that has a lot of influence, and I admire him greatly. I know that I did hear [him]. I heard him. He did not and was not talking about the players.”

The McNair quote in question, as surfaced in an ESPN deep-dive into the Manhattan players-owners meetings earlier this month, was, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” which has been reported to be a reference to allowing the players not to stand during the national anthem.

Jones heaped praise on McNair, whose team almost as a whole took a knee during “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Sunday. Jones pointed to a preseason Cowboys-Texans game that was canceled so the Texans could return to Houston quickly following Hurricane Harvey as proof of McNair’s generosity. He said McNair was a “hero” who didn’t mind paying the fees badociated with canceling a game.

“I can’t tell you how magnanimous he is,” the Cowboys owner said. “He is one of the great benefactors to Houston and to anybody that’s been around him.

“This is really unfortunate the way it came out. He was the first to tell you he misused words. It’s unfortunate because he’s a high-quality individual.”

Ezekiel ElliottDavid McGlynn

Jones, never one to hold back, also addressed running back Ezekiel Elliott’s re-confirmed suspension after a Manhattan judge ruled Monday that he should have to serve his six-game suspension for alleged domestic violence.

“Zeke is a victim of an overcorrection,” Jones said.

According to Jones, commissioner Roger Goodell is still trying to make up for his initial two-game suspension of Ray Rice in 2014, and Elliott is the casualty.

“[Goodell’s] swing of judgment has been unbelievable from the Ray Rice thing [from] one or two games all the way up to a six-game suspension when you truly have got a debate,” Jones said. “Even this judge said it shows that very reasonably people could possibly come down on both sides of this. Well, under our legal system it has to be stronger than that for someone to have done it. Now, we all know we were not there to see it, but I do have every point of contention on both sides and in our system in this country, Zeke would not have any issue here as to his work place.”

Elliott was never charged for the 2016 case, in which a former girlfriend alleged he abused her.

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