Houston Texans owner Bob McNair made a statement of apology in response to the backlash received over an insensitive remark, but he may have dug himself a deeper hole.
In these volatile times, when practically anything you say can be misinterpreted or misunderstood, you need to be extra careful what you say in public, a lesson in which Houston Texans owner Bob McNair is currently being schooled.
Following a meeting between NFL owners and players to discuss solutions and viable options regarding the National Anthem protests, McNair was quoted in an ESPN Outside the Lines story saying, “We can’t have inmates running the prison”.
Keep in mind, the actual “figure of speech” McNair was drawing from would be the “inmates running the asylum” – which doesn’t quite have the racial overtones of inmates in prison.
While this was perhaps a forgivable – although misused and misquoted cliché – it still triggered a lot of understandable backlash. The smart thing to do for McNair? Apologize, admit insensitivity, promise to be more cognizant of language used, and move on.
A roundabout denial should not have been part of that play-calling. However, here is the public statement McNair made after meeting with players on Saturday.
Step on a rake much, Mr. McNair?
To attempt to deny players were at the crux of the original insensitive remark only digs a deeper public hole for McNair. Deflecting the direction of “inmates running the prison” to the NFL owners relationship with the league is laughable.
Making mistakes is part of life for anyone. Doubling down when it involves inferred racism is just remarkably tale-telling.
Houston players considered walking out on Friday, and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins didn’t show up for practice. While any discussion had in the locker room with players may have smoothed things over, it’s clear this public statement may not be exactly what they wanted to hear.