by Kyle Kessell
All eyes have been on the city of Houston since Hurricane Harvey powered through the Gulf of Mexico and preceded to lay a path of destruction whenever it made landfall in Texas.
Since then, the city has rallied around their sports teams to find comfort after the devastation. For good reason, as the Astros have battled their way into the World Series for the first time in over 10 years. The Texans football team struck gold with first round pick, quarterback Deshaun Watson; who looked like the front-runner for offensive rookie of the year before a knee injury put him in the shelf.
Houston has been the center of national media with everything going on, and it will continue as comments from the Texans owner, Bob McNair, came out about his feelings towards players kneeling during the National Anthem.
In an owners meeting a few weeks ago, McNair was reported saying, “We can’t let the inmates run the prison.”
I’ll give you some time to re-read that. Yeah, you read that correctly. An NFL owner compared himself to a warden of a prison and his players as the inmates.
Let us put that in perspective. NFL players already have the stigma as women beaters and thugs. Obviously, Houston’s players took great offense to this. Especially, star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who skipped out on practice the following Friday after the comments surfaced.
Now, let us look at the situation from McNair’s point of view. An 80-year-old man who was born during the great depression and spent his childhood years watching the US fight in WWII. A North Carolinian whose love for his country isn’t in question, but rather, his choice of words for players, in his opinion, that are disrespecting the flag.
A meeting between the players and McNair took place Saturday before the Texans played in Seattle, and according to Duane Brown, who was just traded to Seattle days after the game, said, “It did not go well.”
A protest was made before the game where all but 10 players knelt during the playing of the National Anthem.
When asked if the head coach Bill O’Brien supported the players he said, “I support my players 100 percent.”
Whether you agree with owner McNair or the players on the field, one thing is for certain. McNair has owned the team for over 15 years, and hasn’t given the Texans anything to cheer about other than one wild card victory in the playoffs. He drafted David Carr with the franchises first pick, and first pick in the 2002 draft and didn’t give him an offensive line to work with leading to 77 sacks. Maybe, the inmates would be better at running the prison that subpar owner. There’s some food for thought.