Houston Texans owner Robert McNair might want to avoid speaking to reporters when he attends the next few NFL owners meetings.
In Orlando, NFL owners are mulling changes to the league's national anthem policy in response to the protests of players. Those protests, which occurred league-wide this past season, have taken place during the playing of the anthem.
Once again, McNair addressed the issue by saying NFL playing fields are “not the place for political statements” and teams must show angry fans that they “respect our flag and respect our country.”
McNair also decided to offer his opinion on the controversial comments made by Carolina Panthers' owner Jerry Richardson. Richardson's sexual and racial episodes led to significant financial settlements and ultimately resulted in him putting the team up for sale.
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Here is McNair's defense of his fellow owner:
“I hope this thing turns out that he’s innocent. They alleged. I don’t know,” McNair said. “Some of the comments he might have made could have been made jokingly and misunderstood. I’m sure he didn’t mean to offend anybody.”
This isn't the first time McNair has made controversial remarks about players in the league. At an NFL owners meeting last October, he said "we can’t have the inmates running the prison." He later apologized for the remarks.
A few days later, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones defended McNair on his 105.3 The Fan radio show.
“Bob is one of the absolute most admired people as far as the ownership there is in the NFL,” Jones said. “I know what Bob’s stature is in Houston. He brought football back to Houston. It’s so unfortunate that he’s had this happen for him, but he’s really a guy that has a lot of influence and I admire him greatly."