Deshaun Watson, No. 4 of the Houston Texans, celebrates with Lamar Miller, No. 26, and DeAndre Hopkins, No. 10, after a first-quarter score against the Tennessee Titans at NRG Stadium on Oct. 1, 2017, in Houston. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair was “apologetic” Friday for comments he made last week referring to NFL players as “inmates” who couldn’t be allowed “to run the prison.” In the wake of his “apology,” players on his team, others around the league and even some NBA players had plenty to say about his comments, as they should.

ESPN reports that 10 players, including Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back D’Onta Foreman, walked out of practice Friday. The coaching staff intervened, talking to the players, and all but Hopkins and Foreman returned to practice.

Left tackle Duane Brown told ESPN: “When it happened, there’s a thousand emotions going through your mind. Obviously, one of the emotions is to leave the building immediately. [But] we decided to go to work. The situation’s not over. It’s something that we’ll reconvene and talk about again, but we had to practice today.”

Texans coach Bill O’Brien deflected and told ESPN that Hopkins had taken a “personal day.” He said that he expects Hopkins to travel with the team to Seattle on Saturday and play in Sunday’s game against the Seahawks.

“I’m 100 percent with these players,” O’Brien said. “I love these players, I love this coaching staff. We will show up in Seattle and play. We will play very hard. Seattle is a great football team with a great coaching staff. But we will be there when the ball is kicked off in Seattle.”


As previously reported on The Root, McNair apologized Friday after saying, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison” last week during an NFL owners meeting addressing players protesting police brutality and racial injustice during the national anthem.

“I regret that I used that expression,” McNair said in his statement. “I never meant to offend anyone, and I was not referring to our players. I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally. I would never characterize our players or our league that way, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it.”


McNair’s apology was not enough for his players and other players around the league.



Former NFL player Shannon Sharpe, who now hosts Undisputed on FS1, had plenty to say as well.


Reggie Bush said McNair “gotta go.”

McNair was a “multimillion-dollar” contributor to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, and he was one of just nine NFL team owners who voted to make it mandatory that players stand during the anthem.


Although he apologized for his comment, it’s obvious that he meant it. His actions show he meant it. His past actions and political stance show he meant it.

Or, quite possibly, he wanted to say something else?


Team owners like McNair and Jerry Jones and others who want to strip their players of basic civil rights while simultaneously profiting off of their black bodies and labor are no different from the plantation owners of yore. They don’t believe it’s acceptable for these “darkies” to do anything more than what they are told.

Don’t be fooled—the apology is for the optics. He’s not sorry he said it; he’s sorry he said it while his white hood was off.

Read more at ESPN.