Bob McNair Urged Players to End Anthem Protest During Colin Kaepernick Meeting

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 25, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Houston Texans owner Bob McNair walks on the field before his team plays the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Wild Card game at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair urged NFL players to stop kneeling during the national anthem during a summit meeting last year. 

Per Ken Belson and Mark Leibovich of the New York Times, McNair's comments came last October as a group of nearly 30 owners, players and league executives discussed Colin Kaepernick not being signed to a team and President Donald Trump's criticism of the NFL and its players for kneeling during the national anthem. 

"You fellas need to ask your compadres, 'Fellas, stop that other business, let's go out and do something that really produces positive results,' and we'll help you," McNair said. 

At the league meetings in March, McNair told reporters the football field isn't an appropriate venue to make political statements. 

“I don't know. I don't know that that is what needs to be changed. We're going to deal with it in such a way, I think, that people will understand that we want everybody to respect our country, respect our flag. And our playing fields, that's not the place for political statements. That's not the place for religious statements. That's the place for football. And that's what I think we need to be doing.”

Last September, at a rally in Alabama, Trump told the crowd in attendance that NFL owners should "get that son of a b---h off the field right now, he's fired" to any players who kneel during the national anthem. 

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to protest during the 2016 season with the San Francisco 49ers. Several players have followed suit over the past two seasons, including Eric Reid, Michael Bennett and Malcolm Jenkins. 

Since opting out of his deal with the 49ers last offseason, Kaepernick has remained unsigned as a free agent.