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Bob McNair invited to meeting with Kaepernick and Goodell

NFL’s Player Coalition set up a meeting with Bob McNair following comments he made likening players to ‘inmates running the prison’ that he then apologized for

The NFL’s Player Coalition has set up a meeting with Houston Texans owner Bob McNair following comments he made likening players to ‘inmates’ while commenting on the national anthem protests.

NFL insider Ian Rapoport released a statement from the group stating that the meeting would take place on Monday in Philadelphia. 

Included will be Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who began protesting against police brutality by kneeling during the anthem, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

‘Many players have been deeply troubled by the disturbing comments made by Texans’ owner Bob McNair,’ the statement reads. 

‘It is ironic that such a quote would emerge in the midst of an ongoing struggle to highlight injustices suffered by people of color, including our nation’s deeply flawed approach to criminal justice and inhumane treatment of imprisoned people.’

The statement then goes on to call the way in which league higher ups have handled the protest as a ‘lack of seriousness.’

‘It is this lack of earnest words and actions that provoke and reinforce the continuation of our protest.’ 

The meeting would take place on Monday in Philadelphia and will also include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former quarterback Colin Kaepernick

The meeting would take place on Monday in Philadelphia and will also include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former quarterback Colin Kaepernick

The meeting would take place on Monday in Philadelphia and will also include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former quarterback Colin Kaepernick

'Many players have been deeply troubled by the disturbing comments made by Texans' owner Bob McNair,' the statement reads

‘Many players have been deeply troubled by the disturbing comments made by Texans’ owner Bob McNair,’ the statement reads

The coalition condemns the language used by McNair and others like Jerry Jones who has given his player an ultimatum to stand for the anthem, and deems the player’s cause ‘stifled’ and ‘elusive’ if carried on. 

It added: ‘This isn’t about being a player or a club owner – but basic human decency.’ 

And even though alleged fans have misconstrued the players reasoning for protesting, the coalition aims to keep the conversation going but gives warning. 

‘Our patience is being continually disrespected and is wearing thin.’ 

After Houston Texans owner Bob McNair apologized for reportedly making comments likening players to ‘inmates running the prison’, members of the team planned to take action in response.

ESPN reported that a team-wide walkout almost occurred on Friday after McNair apologized for his remarks during a NFL owners meeting that took place earlier this month. 

Skipping practice for ‘personal reasons,’ it was later confirmed by the publication that wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had actually missed because of McNair’s comments.

A team-wide walkout almost occurred on Friday after McNair apologized for his remarks during a NFL owners meeting that took place earlier this month

A team-wide walkout almost occurred on Friday after McNair apologized for his remarks during a NFL owners meeting that took place earlier this month

Skipping practice for 'personal reasons,' it was later confirmed by ESPN that wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had missed because of McNair's comments where he declared 'we can't have the inmates running the prison'

Skipping practice for ‘personal reasons,’ it was later confirmed by ESPN that wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had missed because of McNair’s comments where he declared ‘we can’t have the inmates running the prison’

The sentiment was shared by offensive lineman Duane Brown, who was ‘sickened’ by the ‘horrible’ comments but was not surprised, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

On Twitter, his wife Devo added: ‘My husband has put his BODY & MIND on the line for your team for 10 YRS & to you he is an “inmate”. You owe these players RESPECT & support.’ 

‘I don’t believe he is the only owner that feel that way… smh,’ added Texans rookie Treston Decoud.

Richard Sherman, who is playing the Texans this Sunday with the Seattle Seahawks. added: ‘I can appreciate ppl being candid. Don’t apologize! You meant what you said. Showing true colors allows ppl to see you for who you are.’

On Twitter, Duane Brown's wife Devo added: 'My husband has put his BODY & MIND on the line for your team for 10 YRS & to you he is an ¿inmate¿. You owe these players RESPECT & support'

On Twitter, Duane Brown’s wife Devo added: ‘My husband has put his BODY & MIND on the line for your team for 10 YRS & to you he is an “inmate”. You owe these players RESPECT & support’

'I don¿t believe he is the only owner that feel that way... smh,' added Texans rookie Treston Decoud

‘I don’t believe he is the only owner that feel that way… smh,’ added Texans rookie Treston Decoud

Richard Sherman, who is playing the Texans this Sunday with the Seattle Seahawks. added: 'I can appreciate ppl being candid. Don¿t apologize! You meant what you said. Showing true colors allows ppl to see you for who you are'

Richard Sherman, who is playing the Texans this Sunday with the Seattle Seahawks. added: ‘I can appreciate ppl being candid. Don’t apologize! You meant what you said. Showing true colors allows ppl to see you for who you are’

Another meeting with NFL representatives is said to take place on October 31 and it has been reported that Colin Kaepernick – who started the protest last season – will be in attendance. 

And both athletes in the NFL and in the other sports are calling for the resignation of McNair and even compare him to Donald Sterling, a former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

‘He gotta go,’ said Heisman winner Reggie Bush about McNair. 

‘SMH! Him and Donald Sterling must be really good friends,’ added Cleveland Cavaliers player Isaiah Thomas. 

It was a sentiment shared by DeAndre Jordan who said: ‘Too late Bob, I ain’t rollin! Hopefully nobody is…even though I’m not a Texans fan, I’m from Houston and this irks me…and millions!’ 

'He gotta go,' said Heisman winner Reggie Bush about McNair

‘He gotta go,’ said Heisman winner Reggie Bush about McNair

'SMH! Him and Donald Sterling must be really good friends,' added Cleveland Cavaliers player Isaiah Thomas

‘SMH! Him and Donald Sterling must be really good friends,’ added Cleveland Cavaliers player Isaiah Thomas

It was a sentiment shared by DeAndre Jordan who said: 'Too late Bob, I ain¿t rollin! Hopefully nobody is...even though I¿m not a Texans fan, I¿m from Houston and this irks me...and millions!'

It was a sentiment shared by DeAndre Jordan who said: ‘Too late Bob, I ain’t rollin! Hopefully nobody is…even though I’m not a Texans fan, I’m from Houston and this irks me…and millions!’

McNair apologized after a report said he declared ‘we can’t have the inmates running the prison’ during a meeting of NFL owners over what to do about players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

The comment was mentioned in an ESPN The Magazine story on two recent days of meetings among owners, players and others to discuss the protests that have drawn the ire of President Donald Trump. Players, following the lead of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, say they kneel to protest social injustices, particularly against African-Americans. Trump has sharply criticized the protests and even called on NFL owners to fire players.

In his statement released Friday, McNair says he regretted using the expression and said he was ‘not referring to our players.’

‘I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally,’ McNair said. ‘I would never characterize our players or our league that way and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it.’

The meetings earlier this month did not result in a policy change that would require players to stand for the anthem. 

The  Houston Texans had reportedly likened NFL players to ‘inmates running the prison’ at a recent league meeting in New York.

McNair was speaking about the players who have protested inequality and police brutality against minorities by sitting, kneeling, or raising a fist during the national anthem.

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair allegedly likened NFL players to prisoners 

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair allegedly likened NFL players to prisoners 

During the private meeting in Manhattan last week, McNair, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones all spoke in favor of mandating that players stand.

‘You can’t have the inmates running the prison,’ McNair said, according to ESPN.

According to the report, former All-Pro cornerback and current NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent took offense to the suggestion. Vincent said he has been called many racial slurs over the years, but had never felt like an inmate.

Jones insisted that it was the owners who helped turn the NFL into a $15 billion-a-year business, so it should be the owners who decide what to do about the protests.

In a press conference following the meeting on October 19, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he believes ‘everyone’ should stand for the national anthem, but stopped short of introducing any new rule that would compel players to do so.

Former All-Pro cornerback and current NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent allegedly took offense to McNair's suggestion 

Former All-Pro cornerback and current NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent allegedly took offense to McNair’s suggestion 

When asked if teams will be allowed to punish players for sitting or kneeling, the Commissioner said he ‘can’t deal with hypotheticals right now’ adding that it ‘wasn’t necessary’ to discuss any rule changes with owners.

The NFL has been the target of public criticism from fans and President Donald Trump over players protesting during the national anthem.

‘Too much talk, not enough action,’ Trump tweeted after Goodell spoke on October 19. ‘Stand for the National Anthem.’

A billionaire in the fossil fuels industry, McNair is a staunch supporter of Trump. 

Many San Francisco 49ers players continue to protest inequality and police brutality 

Many San Francisco 49ers players continue to protest inequality and police brutality 

A follow-up meeting is scheduled for October 31, according to ESPN. Those discussions will reportedly focus on how the league and players can team together to address issues that are being raised by the players’ protests.

Many, including Trump, have publicly admonished the NFL for allowing players to demonstrate by refusing to stand during the national anthem. The President has demanded that the NFL punish players for refusing to stand and referred to protesters as ‘sons of b******’ during a rally in Alabama last month.

Vice President Mike Pence left the Indianapolis Colts’ Week 5 game against the San Francisco 49ers after several 49ers took a knee during the playing of the national anthem.

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder (left) and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (right) reportedly spoke out against the protests during the recent owners meeting in New York

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said it's his belief that 'everyone' should stand for the national anthem, but has not announced any new rule that would compel players to do so 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said it’s his belief that ‘everyone’ should stand for the national anthem, but has not announced any new rule that would compel players to do so 

‘I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,’ Pence said in a statement released by the White House.

Soon after Pence exited the game, Trump took credit for the idea.

‘I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLady Karen,’ Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump has even suggested that the NFL should have to change its tax status if players continued protesting. However, the league ceased to be non-profit in 2015, and even before that change, individual teams were still expected to pay taxes on all earnings. The league does benefit from tax-payer funded stadiums and municipal bonds, which also contribute to the funding of those facilities.

In September the President threatened that the NFL’s business would ‘go to hell’ if players continued to protest, and he might be right.

Over the first six weeks of the season, the NFL’s total viewership has dropped about 7.5 percent when compared with the same time frame in 2016, according to metrics from Nielsen. And compared to the first six weeks of the 2015 season, NFL ratings are down 18.7 percent, according to ESPN.

Trump responded to Goodell's press conference by repeating his demand that players stand

Trump responded to Goodell’s press conference by repeating his demand that players stand

Goodell also acknowledged that the issue of anthem protests is important to the league’s sponsors and television partners, such as ESPN, CBS, Fox, and NBC.

‘They understand the issues,’ Goodell said. ‘We want to make sure they understand what we are doing and if they can help us, we want them to help us in those issues. All of this is part of the ongoing effort and the understanding of one another, and making sure that we do the right thing in our communities and the right thing to support our players, but also do the right thing to make sure we get back to football.’

Goodell was asked about the apparent split between fans along political lines. According to several polls, Republican fans are more likely to be upset with players kneeling during the national anthem.

‘I don’t think that surprises anybody,’ Goodell said. ‘We are trying to stay out of politics. We are not looking to get into politics. What we are looking to do is continue to keep people focused on football.

On Tuesday, following a meeting with owners, players, and union representatives, Goodell told reporters that he did not ask that the players stand for the anthem.

‘We did not ask for that,’ he said. ‘We spent today talking about the issues that players have been trying to bring attention to – issues to make our communities better. I think we all agree there’s nothing more important than trying to give back to our communities and make them better. That was the entire focus of today.’

Trump, who’s bid to purchase the NFL’s Buffalo Bills was rejected in 2014, fired back on Twitter: ‘The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect for our great country!’

Following the October 19 meeting, Goodell emphasized his belief that the players are not being disrespectful of the flag or the United States by protesting peacefully.

Vice President Mike Pence (left) and wife Karen (right) left the Indianapolis Colts game on October 8 after members of the visiting San Francisco 49ers took a knee during the anthem

Vice President Mike Pence (left) and wife Karen (right) left the Indianapolis Colts game on October 8 after members of the visiting San Francisco 49ers took a knee during the anthem

‘Our players will state to you publicly they are not doing this in any way to be disrespectful to the flag,’ Goodell said.

Later Goodell said the NFL is ‘not looking to get into politics, but what we’re looking to do is to continue to give people a focus on football.’

Goodell repeatedly put the number of protesters at around ‘a half dozen or so,’ which is debatable.

In Week 3, after Trump initially attacked the protesters, over 200 players demonstrated during the national anthem by sitting, kneeling, locking arms with teammates, or raising a fist.

Regardless of the actual number of protesters, Goodell said that the league is ‘going to continue to work to get that to zero.’

To do that, Goodell explained, the league will need to work with the players on a number of initiatives aimed at ‘real differences in our community.’

So far, Goodell has been meeting with players, community leaders, and even co-signed a letter to U.S. senators urging them to vote the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017 into law.

Even Jones protested alongside his team in Week 3, first kneeling and then standing while locking arms with players during the anthem.

However, since then, Jones has promised to bench players who protested during the anthem and has received praise from Trump in return.

Embattled former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not receive an invitation to attend the player-owners meeting on October 18, which was aimed at addressing the social issues that have been raised by players’ ongoing protests during the national anthem.

The free agent Kaepernick, who is currently suing all 32 owners for allegedly colluding to blackball him, ignited the protests during the 2016 preseason when he refused to stand during the national anthem as a way to raise awareness about inequality and police violence against minorities.

If the NFL were to institute any policy changes that would force players to stand for the anthem, things could get even more tense between players and owners.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy believes there would be an ‘uproar’ if any such policy was enacted.

‘I don’t think guys are going to like it,’ McCoy told ESPN last week. ‘I think it’s going to be an uproar if that is to happen because you’re basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech. If guys want to have a, I guess you would call it a peaceful protest, I don’t think it’s right to take that away from guys.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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