Football

Arian Foster criticizes Texans owner Bob McNair for 'inmates' remark, anthem stance

Former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and Texans owner Bob McNair are pictured in this composite photo.
Former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and Texans owner Bob McNair are pictured in this composite photo. AP Photos

Arian Foster continues to criticize the NFL, especially Houston Texans owner Bob McNair.

Speaking at a meeting between owners, team executives and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last October, McNair reportedly said "we can't have the inmates running the prison" in response to NFL players taking a knee during the United States national anthem.

Foster was signed by the Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and had seven mostly successful seasons with the team. Here's part of what Foster told USA Today Sports on Wednesday about his former owner:

“You hear the rumblings, so … that was my first thought – that it didn’t surprise me he thought like that. Knowing my experience of being an NFL player, it is of my understanding that that’s how they view the players anyway.

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has hired an attorney and plans to file the grievance under the collective bargaining agreement, a source close to Kaepernick told USA Today reporter Mike Jones.

In that same interview, he said:

“I absolutely take who (McNair) is and where he comes from into consideration. He is an 80-year-old white man. When he was younger the prevailing thought was that there are two races that don’t really belong together.

"He could have been brought up to where he was raised the exact opposite and I am totally open to that. I come to the conclusion that it doesn’t bother and it just doesn’t surprise me if that is how he thinks and I am not going to lose any sleep over how Bob McNair views the players.”

At an NFL owners meeting in March, McNair once again 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.”

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is also a strong defender of standing for the anthem. Early in the season, Jones said he’d bench any Dallas Cowboys player who protested during the national anthem.

A few days after McNair made those comments in March, Jones defended him 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."

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