Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has been adamant about his feelings regarding black players. McNair has no problem with black players on his team, but they shouldn’t be protesting the unarmed killings of black men, women and children during work hours. Oh, and if those players choose to have a voice, well, McNair famously noted that you can’t have “inmates running the prison.”
So it comes as no surprise that the surly old-ass owner of the Texans is in full support of Jerry Richardson, the embattled and equally problematic owner of the Carolina Panthers.
As it is, Richardson reportedly was a perpetrator of sexual misconduct, forcing the team to make several payouts to silence victims, and has also been accused of using racial slurs. Despite all of this, McNair notes that Richardson is a standup guy.
“I know Jerry. He’s an outstanding person,” McNair told reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, the New York Daily News reports.
“Some of the comments he might have made could have been made jokingly and misunderstood,” he added. “I’m sure he didn’t mean to offend anybody.”
Richardson didn’t even try to fight the accusations; in fact, once they emerged, he just offered to sell the team and bounce. The Daily News notes that the new price tag, which has reportedly pushed Sean “Puffy/Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy Love” Combs and Steph Curry out of the running, is $2.5 billion.
Much like the president of the United States, McNair doesn’t care what people think about him. He has not only doubled down on his “inmates” comment but has also been adamant that he won’t condone protesting players on his team.
“We’re going to deal with [player protests],” he said. “Our playing field, that’s not the place for political statements. That’s not the place for religious statements. It’s the place for football.”
How many times has McNair stopped a player from praying on the field? Let me answer that for you—not ever. So this isn’t about religion. Well, let me be clear: This isn’t about Christian, white, blue-eyed-Jesus religion, as I’m sure he’d take issue with Muslim prayer.
The Daily News notes that while he doesn’t want his players making political statements and protests, that hasn’t stopped him from being fully invested in politics.
“Three years ago, he opposed equal rights legislation in Houston and remains among sports’ most generous political donors. He donated $1 million to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee,” the Daily News reports.
My hope is that McNair keeps opening his trap because every time he does, he seems to be proving the case of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick—the first player to protest against the killings of unarmed black men, women and children—who accused NFL owners of colluding to keep him off the playing field.