Bob McNair: I Regret Apologizing for 'Inmates' Comment After NFL Protests

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2018

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 28: Houston Texans owner Bob McNair leaves the final meetings at the 2018 NFL Annual Meetings at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Great Lakes on March 28, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images)
B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said Thursday that he regrets apologizing for warning against "inmates running the prison" following the protests during the national anthem last year.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal (h/t Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith), McNair said, "The main thing I regret is apologizing. I really didn't have anything to apologize for."

McNair added that he was actually referring to league executives with the "inmates" comments and not NFL players.

The NFL told Jill Martin of CNN that it has no comment on McNair's remark.

ESPN.com's Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. reported last year that McNair made the "inmates" comment during a meeting between NFL owners, executives, player representatives and Commissioner Roger Goodell. The group was discussing players' kneeling during the anthem to protest racial injustice at the time.

McNair later issued the following apology through Texans PR:

Texans PR @TexansPR

Statement from Texans Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. McNair: https://t.co/EXdwKZ4y4x

On Thursday, McNair said, "In business, it's a common expression. But the general public doesn't understand it, perhaps."

The 80-year-old McNair also denied that he would prevent his team from signing players who protest during the anthem.