Eric Gay/Associated Press
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green called comments made by Houston Texans owner Bob McNair “Donald Sterling-esque,” referencing the former Los Angeles Clippers owner who was banned for life by the NBA for racist remarks.
On Friday, Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.com reported McNair said “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” during a meeting about national anthem protests. He later released a statement of apology.
Green posted a response to the initial comments on Instagram:
“Wow! This sure does sound very Donald Sterling-esque. But I’m sure the fans pay to see him play and he’s putting himself at risk of CTE by going out there every Sunday and giving 110 percent! Inmates? For starters, let’s stop using the word owner and maybe use the word Chairman. To be owned by someone just sets a bad precedent to start. It’s sets the wrong tone. It gives one the wrong mindset. Webster states that an inmate is a person confined to an institution such as a prison or hospital. Not sure these tax paying men should be referred to as inmates- but what do I know?”
Other athletes have also spoken out about McNair’s choice of words from the private meeting.
“Remember we only hold our players (I meant prisoners) to a higher standard then the ones in charge!!” Tennessee Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews tweeted.
New York Giants defensive lineman Damon Harrison also passed along his thoughts on social media:
Damon Harrison @BigDame900
Nahhh Bob McNair didn’t say that…nah y’all tripping. He couldn’t have. Nope he didn’t. Did that wake some of y’all up now?
Meanwhile, Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman felt the remarks were revealing:
Richard Sherman @RSherman_25
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.
Devi Brown, wife of Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown, also reacted to the comments:
DEVI BROWN @DeviBrown
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 https://t.co/RJWqgBb2NE
“I think the comments were disrespectful and ignorant,” Duane Brown added, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
Adam Wexler @awexlerKPRC
“Obviously one emotion is to leave the building completely,” – @DuaneBrown76 on #Texans owner Bob McNair comments. @KPRC2 https://t.co/0rZN03XGxJ
Here’s a look at other reactions from around the sports world:
Tony Dungy @TonyDungy
I know Bob McNair. I know his heart. I don’t believe he meant it as viewing players as inmates but that’s how piercing this issue has become https://t.co/6rLhwd3U3Y
Brian Orakpo @rak98
That’s how they really feel huh??? 🤦🏿♂️ These words out this man’s mouth are infuriating to me and the rest of my brothers in this League https://t.co/o1oQXb5Liz
DeAndre Jordan @DeAndre
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!
Marshall Newhouse @MNewhouse74
Happy Friday, y’all. Be kind. Sincerely, Inmate #63925552
Geoff Schwartz @geoffschwartz
I’m not surprised/shocked/upset by McNair’s comments because I already knew owners mostly viewed us commodities. Guess y’all know now.
What are the repercussions for the owner of the Texans referring to nfl players as inmates
Cam Inman @CamInman
More Eric Reid on Texans McNair: “I want to believe he didn’t mean it but that’s the norm in our society”
Bob Condotta @bcondotta
Seattle MLB Bobby Wagner says of Bob McNair “I wouldn’t want to play for a guy like that.”
Meanwhile, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Texas wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ absence from Friday’s practice was “related” to McNair’s remarks. ESPN’s Sarah Barshop noted other members of the Houston roster wanted to leave the facility but were persuaded to stay.
The issue of protests has been brought back in the spotlight over the past month after President Donald Trump suggested NFL owners should fire players who don’t stand for the anthem.