Houston Texans Take a Knee as a Team During the National Anthem to Protest Owner Comments
“We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”
A majority of Houston Texans players took a knee during the national anthem in protest of owner Bob McNair’s “inmates” comments pic.twitter.com/vInrCreRct
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 29, 2017
At a mid-October meeting of NFL team owners in New York, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair criticized player protests during the national anthem. “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” he reportedly said.
That did not go over well with his team at all, and they planned a protest. As the Texans-Seahawks match-up commenced Sunday afternoon in Seattle, the entire team—save six players—took a knee during a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
All but 6 players on the Texans took a knee during pregame following owner Bob McNair's comments last week pic.twitter.com/maF1Fhe6bR
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 29, 2017
Here is video of the majority of Texans players kneeling during the National Anthem.https://t.co/RnrsgaFO1k
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) October 29, 2017
Though cameras were focused on the Texans, several members of the Seattle team remained seated during the anthem as well.
This form of protest began with Colin Kaepernick last season. By all accounts it wasn’t intended to protest the anthem itself, but to call attention to racial inequality, especially in law enforcement.
Sunday’s protest occurred despite Bob McNair’s effort to apologize to the team for his words. The New York Post reported McNair said he knew his team was upset and he “wanted to answer their questions.”
McNair also said that if he had a chance to make the same statement again he “wouldn’t use that expression.”
Social media reactions to the Texans’ statement was divided. Just two tweets represent the tone of most responses.
Texans players protesting an idiom they took literally is officially dumbest protest in sports history. Congrats guys, you’re all idiots.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 29, 2017
This form of player protest seemed to be waning, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether the attention to the Texans’ gesture will inspire players on other teams to resume doing it as well.
And whether team owners will begin examining measures to deter them.