SEATTLE — Only 10 Houston Texans players stood for the national anthem on Sunday in protest of comments made by team owner Bob McNair earlier this week.
The players were responding to McNair’s controversial comments during an Oct. 18 NFL owners meeting where he said “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”
The comment was published in an ESPN The Magazine article on Friday referring to ongoing player demonstrations during the national anthem.
McNair apologized for the comments on Friday and again on Saturday.
“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 said.
“I was referring to the relationship between the league office and team owners and how they have been making significant strategic decisions affecting our league without adequate input from ownership over the past few years.”
McNair did not meet with players until Saturday, a day after Texans offensive players DeAndre Hopkins and D’Onta Foreman skipped practice in response.
According to ESPN, Texans players met Saturday to discuss how to handle McNair’s comments. Several players publicly came out against the owner’s comments, including veteran Duane Brown.
“I think it was ignorant,” Brown told ESPN. “I think it was embarrassing. I think it angered a lot of players, including myself. We put our bodies and minds on the line every time we step on that field, and to use an analogy of inmates in prison, that’s disrespectful. That’s how I feel about it.”
The meetings between NFL owners and players did not result in a policy change. Currently, NFL policy does not require players to stand for the anthem.
It was the first time this season any Texans players took a knee for the anthem, according to USA Today.