Players for the NFL’s Houston Texans are planning to protest at Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. This protest is different, because it’s being done in response to comments made by Texans owner Bob McNair.
Earlier this month, NFL owners met to discuss the recent outbreak of players protesting racial inequality, while the national anthem is playing. McNair, who wanted to see an end to the behavior, said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”
Upon learning of the comments, the team reportedly considered walking out of practice on Friday, but head coach Bill O’Brien convinced them to stay – all except two players. Receiver Nuk Hopkins and running back D’onta Foreman did not practice.
On Friday and Saturday, McNair apologized for the comment, saying: “I am truly sorry to the players for how this has impacted them and the perception that it has created of me, which could not be further from the truth.” He met with the players to apologize in person, however according to reports, the apology was not well received.
On Sunday, ESPN reported that a “league source” said the Texans held a players meeting on Saturday in Seattle, in order to decide how best to address McNair’s comments. They’ve elected to protest “as a unit.”
Texans left tackle Duane Brown says he anticipates “up to 65 to 70 percent” of the team’s players will kneel at Sundays game. Brown also said the players considered removing the team’s decals from their helmets, but decided against the idea.
Now, a coalition of NFL players plans to address the issue directly with McNair, and they want to include the man who started the kneeling protest last season: former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
According to ESPN: Saturday, a coalition of NFL players extended an invitation to McNair, commissioner Roger Goodell and unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a Monday meeting in Philadelphia at which they hope to address players’ “immediate concerns before additional progress can be made.”
It is unknown if McNair, Goodell or Kaepernick will attend.
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins’ absence from practice today was related to Bob McNair’s comments, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2017
Though #Texans owner Bob McNair did apologize to players yesterday, it did not go over well. I’m told to expect some form of protest today
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 29, 2017
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 29, 2017
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 29, 2017
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