The bizarre saga of the NFL and the National Anthem protests looks to continue today as the Houston Texans prepare for their Sunday afternoon contest.
For the entirety of the 2017 season, fans of the National Football League have been tuning out in unprecedented numbers due to a disrespectful protest during the National Anthem. What began as former NFL second stringer Colin Kaepernick kneeling to display his disdain for the police turned political when Donald Trump became the direct target of these anti-American gestures after standing up for the offended citizens of the U.S. on Twitter.
Now, as the league and the fans continue to react to the players’ pedantic pushback, by threatening action and tuning out, respectively, one team owner’s use of the traditional phrase “you can’t have inmates running the prison” has caused yet another massive rift in the organization.
“Houston Texans players are reportedly planning a unified protest before Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks after controversial remarks by the team owner.
“Texans owner Bob McNair had met with the team Saturday morning and apologized for his previous comments that ‘we can’t have the inmates running the prison’ during a meeting of NFL owners.
“Texans left tackle Duane Brown told ESPN he anticipates ‘up to 65 to 70 percent’ of the team’s players could kneel as part of the protest in Seattle, adding the players would not remove the team’s decals from their helmets as had been discussed.
“McNair’s remarks caused a firestorm of criticism from athletes inside and outside the NFL and prompted an initial apology from the 79-year-old Friday.
“‘I know they were upset,’ McNair told the Houston Chronicle about his meeting with the players. ‘I wanted to answer their questions. I told them if I had it to do over again I wouldn’t use that expression.'”
The outrage over McNair’s forced apology combined with the outrage over the players’ actions has created quite a quandary for NFL fans.
Much of the opposition from the fans themselves is not critical of the players’ ideologies and beliefs in the protest, but rather about when the players are choosing to demonstrate. By hijacking the National Anthem they players are disrespecting the men and women who have served in our nation’s military, and that runs counter to their hopes for enhanced relations with law enforcement.