Houston Texans return owner’s ‘inmates’ comments with a knee

Nearly every single member of the Houston Texans took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in Washington.

Out of a team with over 50 members, only about 10 people remained standing.

The protest comes after Texans owner Bob McNair made derogatory comments in reference to the #TakeAKnee protests throughout the NFL.

“We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” McNair said during a closed door meeting, according to an ESPN. The others in the room were reportedly stunned by the phrase, though it was not until after the article was published that McNair issued an apology, saying that his comments had been simply “a figure of a speech.”

“I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players,” the statement read. “I could never characterize our players or our league that way and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it.”

The full team nearly walked away from practice on Friday, and while there was not a full walkout, ten players did not attend, and the practice started a half hour later than scheduled.

“This is how you view us?” All-Pro left tackle Duane Brown said after practice. “You’re an inmate. We can’t let you get out of line. We can’t let you speak for yourself. We can’t let you have your own beliefs. That’s what it feels like, it’s a bad situation.”