Houston Texans owner Bob McNair met with Texans players Saturday morning, a day after his comments referring to NFL players as “inmates” became public.
McNair was quoted in an ESPN Outside the Lines story saying, “We can’t have inmates running the prison,” in a meeting with other owners about players’ national anthem protests.
"I know they were upset," McNair said, according to Mark Berman of Fox26 and the Houston Chronicle. "I wanted to answer their questions. I told them if I had it to do over again I wouldn't use that expression."
McNair issued an apology Friday, and again reiterated his stance Saturday via a public statement.
“As I said yesterday, I was not referring to our players when I made a very regretful comment during the owners meetings last week," McNair said in the statement released by the team. "I was referring to the relationship between the league office and team owners and how they have been making significant strategic decisions affecting our league without adequate input from ownership over the past few years.
"I am truly sorry to the players for how this has impacted them and the perception that it has created of me which could not be further from the truth. Our focus going forward, personally and as an organization, will be towards making meaningful progress regarding the social issues that mean so much to our players and our community.”
DeAndre Hopkins and D’Onta Foreman did not practice Friday because of the insensitive remarks, according to reports. Coach Bill O’Brien characterized Hopkins’ absence as a “personal day.”
According to ESPN, a Texans player said that the team will meet Saturday night to “discuss a demonstration” for Sunday’s game at the Seattle Seahawks. All Texans players were expected to travel with the team, according to the Chronicle.