Is this how NFL team owners view players who kneel during the national anthem? Well, at the very least, it's how Houston Texans owner Bob McNair sees protesting players in the league.
"We can't have the inmates running the prison," McNair said during the NFL Players Association's meeting with team owners last week, as reported by ESPN.
Troy Vincent, the NFL's EVP of Football Operations and a former cornerback in the league, took great offense to the comment, and, according to ESPN, stood up during the meeting and said that over the course of his career (1992-2006) he was called everything — even the N-word — but never felt like an "inmate."
McNair, who donated $2 million to Donald Trump's campaign last year, before calling the president's controversial comments about NFL players "divisive" last month, was thoroughly blasted for his "inmates" remark despite later apologizing on Friday.
Yes. Where is the respect?
Shaking our heads.
Yes, call him out!
You heard it.
We, too, are proud of Vincent for checking McNair, but NFL team owners shouldn't have condoned that comment, either.
McNair is definitely not alone among NFL team owners feeling similarly.
"I regret that I used that expression," McNair said in statement released Friday, as reported by the Houston Chronicle. "I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players. I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally. I would never characterize our players or our league that way and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it."
Well, anyone with a conscience is offended by it, Mr. McNair. But as Richard Sherman pointed out, your apology doesn't change what you said.
Say that last part again. An apology can't take back a comment like that.
(Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images)