Friday, March 22, 2019

Bob McNair; The challenge of playing for the Houston Texans.

April 12, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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( The 2017 Houston Texans had a very disappointing season. The team had only four wins compared to 12 losses after they made the playoffs in 2016. However, in 2017, the Texans apparently found their quarterback of the future after Deshaun Watson had an extremely productive rookie season prior to suffering a torn ACL injury. The injury to Watson wasn’t the most difficult part of the Texans’ 2017 season as there was a controversy involving the founder and owner of the Houston Texans, Bob McNair.

Despite the absence of Colin Kaepernick, NFL players continued to protest during the national anthem during the 2017 NFL season. This has been an issue that NFL owners discussed multiple times during 2017 and during an October 2017 meeting, Texans owner Bob McNair said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” at a meeting of owners and players to discuss player demonstrations during the national anthem.

The words used by Bob McNair during that meeting were revealed to the public which led to Texans players reportedly considering staging a walkout from practice and the majority of Houston Texans players took a knee or sat during a pregame protest as a unit during an October 2017 NFL game. It is important to note that McNair did apologize to the Texans’ players for the “inmates” comments.

It is difficult to separate Bob McNair’s “inmates” comments from the prism of race given that the NFL players demonstrating during the national anthem are black. Many of the Houston Texans were upset enough by McNair’s comments to protest and it has been revealed that McNair announced in a meeting he was displeased with the election of President Barack Obama in 2008. It is not unusual that McNair, a rich owner of a professional sports team, would be against the election of a particular U.S. president but it is unusual that an owner would talk to his players about it. Now Bob McNair has done something “questionable” once again by telling the Wall Street Journal that he regrets apologizing for the “inmates” comments he said last year. It is hard to believe that he would bring up this topic again after seeing many of his players react to his original comments.

It is becoming pretty clear for those who play for the Houston Texans that their owner, Bob McNair, is becoming a controversial figure in a similar mold to former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Sterling was a controversial figure for his alleged bigoted and discriminatory actions as a landlord and the racist comments that led to him being forced to sell the Clippers years ago.

As a player for the Houston Texans, it makes life more difficult when it is confirmed that the owner of the team holds views that may be in direct conflict to their own views. It would not be surprising to see more Houston Texans protest during the national anthem during the upcoming 2018 NFL season given Bob McNair’s renewal of the “inmates” comments.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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