Houston Texans owner Bob McNair opened up a new front in the battle over protests in the NFL during the owners’ meetings when he countered the arguments of protesters by saying “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.” That incendiary line lit up the Texans — receiver DeAndre Hopkins walked out of Friday’s practice in protest — and now the team is weighing a stronger response.
Those with a more forgiving mindset would say it was a case of a poorly chosen metaphor. Other, more critical views say that it was a Freudian slip, a look inside an NFL owner’s mind that revealed exactly how owners view their players: as controllable property that must be kept in line.
Regardless, all sides agree it was a terrible choice of words, and even though McNair has apologized at least twice, the team is considering stronger statements of its own prior to its Sunday afternoon game against Seattle.
Texans plan group protest; options include kneeling, peeling Texans decal off helmet, raising fists, staying in locker room during anthem.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 29, 2017
“Texans plan group protest;” ESPN’s Adam Schefter wrote on Twitter early Sunday morning. “Options include kneeling, peeling Texans decal off helmet, raising fists, staying in locker room during anthem.”
What’s interesting is that the most incendiary of these, from a football perspective — peeling the Texans sticker from their helmet — would be the least connected to the anthem; fans who believe that players protesting during the anthem are disrespectful would have no such grounds for complaint. While the NFL rulebook focuses on items added to uniforms (sponsor logos, personal messages) rather than items removed from them, the rules are in place: for violations of uniform codes found prior to kickoff, “player will be advised to make appropriate correction; if the violation is not corrected, player will not be permitted to enter the game.”
The Texans kick off at 4:05 Eastern against the Seahawks. There’s likely to be much more to this story by then.
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