During the NFL kneeling controversy, a very irritated Texans owner Bob McNair said, "We can't have the inmates running the prison." The only thing he regrets about that moment is apologizing.
McNair was condemned by many. Many of the Texans players kneeled during the following game's National Anthem in protest of their owner.
It's pretty easy to see McNair was trying to use the well known idiom, "the inmates are running the asylum." What he meant was the people running the team are the least capable. Instead, by inserting prison, even in a private meeting, it was wildly misconstrued.
Per Daily Wire:
McNair issued a public apology “to anyone who was offended,” clarifying that he “never meant to offend anyone” and “was not referring to our players.”
“I regret that I used that expression,” McNair said at the time. “I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally. I would never characterize our players or our league that way.”
Now, it turns out that what McNair most regrets is issuing an apology in the first place.
“The main thing I regret is apologizing,” McNair told The Wall Street Journal in a story published Friday. “I really didn’t have anything to apologize for.”
He said the “inmates” he was referring to in the October meeting were league executives who had too much control over key business decisions.
“We were talking about a number of things, but we were also washing our dirty linen, which you do internally. You don’t do that publicly. That’s what I was addressing: The relationship of owners and the league office,” McNair said.
Asked about players who kneel for the National Anthem, McNair said that players who don’t want to stand should remain in the locker room.
“If they’re going to be out there, we need to respect the anthem and our flag,” he said, intimating that the league should revise its policy to make it mandatory for players on the field to stand for the National Anthem. “As employers, we set conditions for all of our employees.”
Here’s link/excerpts of new WSJ article w/ Bob McNair.
My thoughts: 1 doesn’t help as it makes it news again 2 doesn’t help winning 3 contradicts Brown’s @ArianFoster podcast 4 his political contributions complicate stay out of politics view 5 don’t @ me https://t.co/blNxS2Do2s pic.twitter.com/GOrrwuL8qg
— Stephanie Stradley (@StephStradley) April 5, 2018
With the blowback McNair was facing, it's easy to see why he apologized. At least he stepped up and cleared the air. His statement was misconstrued. The intent was clear. He wasn't making a racist statement, he was addressing the relationship between the owners and the league office.
Kudos to Bob McNair for standing his ground.