Sports activities Pulse: Trysta Krick discusses Houston Texans proprietor Bob McNair poor alternative of phrases on NFL gamers.
USA TODAY Sports activities
SEATTLE – Greater than 30 members of the Houston Texans took a knee and a number of other sat in the course of the anthem earlier than Sunday’s recreation in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks in protest of proprietor Bob McNair’s remark that “we will not have the inmates operating the jail.”
Seven Seahawks gamers – 5 in uniform and two inactive gamers – sat in the course of the anthem, persevering with the protest Michael Bennett began earlier this 12 months.
However the Texans’ demonstration although was most notable, given the extreme adverse response from gamers in Houston and across the league on Friday after McNair’s “inmates” remark was reported in an ESPN story that detailed what occurred throughout league conferences in New York Metropolis final week. McNair’s quote got here throughout an owners-only session to debate the protest situation.
Homeowners didn’t vote to vary a coverage that may require gamers to face for the anthem throughout that assembly.
McNair issued two public apologies by way of statements distributed by the Texans. Within the first assertion Friday morning, he mentioned he regretted utilizing the phrase “inmates” as a part of a determine of speech, and he by no means supposed for it to confer with his gamers. On Saturday, he tried to additional make clear his feedback by saying he was referring to the connection between the league workplace and workforce homeowners and “how they’ve been making vital selections affecting our league with out enough enter from possession.”
However McNair didn’t meet with Texans gamers till Saturday, a day after two offensive gamers, star receiver DeAndre Hopkins and rookie operating again D’Onta Foreman, skipped observe. Left deal with Duane Brown advised reporters on Friday that gamers thought-about a mass walkout however in the end determined to observe and fly to Seattle.
McNair’s apologies and Saturday’s assembly didn’t seem to do a lot to assuage gamers’ considerations nonetheless, and ESPN reported Saturday evening that gamers had been weighing their choices about what kind of demonstration that may do Sunday in Seattle. ESPN reported that gamers thought-about remaining within the locker room and even taking the Texans decal off their helmets, although they did neither.
Because the anthem started, Texans gamers seemed round at one another after which the bulk knelt in unison. Many gamers held arms. A number of of the gamers who selected to face put a hand on a teammate’s shoulder.
It’s the first time this 12 months that any Texans gamers have demonstrated in the course of the anthem, past when the workforce stood with linked arms throughout Week three.
Observe Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.
PHOTOS: NFL gamers’ protests