Houston Texans Owner Bob McNair says he Regrets Apologizing for ‘Inmates Running the Prison’ Comment

HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 30: Houston Texans Owner Bob McNair celebrates after the game between the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

The Texans owner says his only regret in the entire situation was apologizing for something he claims was misunderstood.

In October, ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. provided an in-depth look at the NFL meetings between owners and players to discuss protests during the national anthem. In it, they unveiled Houston Texans owner Bob McNair told the other NFL owners that they “can’t have the inmates running the prison.”

The entire context of the quote:

As Jones spoke, Snyder mumbled out loud, “See, Jones gets it — 96 percent of Americans are for guys standing,” a claim some dismissed as a grand overstatement. McNair, a multimillion-dollar Trump campaign contributor, spoke next, echoing many of the same business concerns. “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” McNair said.

McNair would later apologize for the comment in a statement, but he recently told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and his only regret was apologizing.

“The main thing I regret is apologizing,” McNair said. The WSJ adds “he insists the ‘inmates’ he was referring to were not NFL players, but rather league executives who he felt had more control over major decisions than the owners.”

McNair said, “I really didn’t have anything to apologize for.”

“We were talking about a number of things, but we were also washing some of our dirty linen, which you do internally,” he said. “You don’t do that publicly. That’s what I was addressing: The relationship of owners and the league office,” McNair said. “In business, it’s a common expression. But the general public doesn’t understand it, perhaps.”

Many NFL players and athletes in other sports spoke out after hearing the commentDeAndre Hopkins and D’Onta Foreman both missed practice that Friday because of it, and other Texans also reportedly considered walking out. McNair ended up releasing a second statement after meeting with the team, one that then-Texan Duane Brown said did not go well. He would be traded shortly after to the Seahawks.

The following Sunday, many Texans players were kneeling during the national anthem.

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SOURCE: SB Nation – Henry Lyles Jr.