A group of current and former NFL players have called for a meeting on Monday Oct. 30, after Houston Texans owner Robert McNair made controversial comments during a recent team owners’ meeting.
The group, called the Players Coalition, has requested a meeting in Philadelphia with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, McNair, and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is currently unsigned.
As of writing on Sunday, Oct 29, it was not clear if any of those invited had agreed to attend the meeting.
McNair reportedly told fellow owners at a meeting that “we can’t have the inmates running the prison.” The team owner’s comment was first published in ESPN The Magazine.
According to ESPN, the Players Coalition hopes to to address players’ “immediate concerns before additional progress can be made.”
“Many players have been deeply troubled by the disturbing comments made by Texans’ owner Bob McNair,” the Players Coalition said in a statement, according to Fox News. “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.”
McNair has apologized twice for his remarks, which he described as a “very regretful comment,” the Houston Chronicle reported.
However, McNair said afterward that he was was not referring to the players as “inmates.” Instead he said he was describing the relationship between team owners and the league office in New York.
Kaepernick last year first began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality against minorities. Many critics have argued that protesting during the anthem is disrespectful to the nation and especially to members of the military. Some fans have also said that it was not the right venue or time to protest.
The Players Coalition is led by Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin, and nine other players engaged in community activism, according to ESPN.
The Houston Texans are planning a group protest over McNair’s comments before Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, a league source told the network.
The unnamed source said that the Texans held a players meeting on Saturday in Seattle to decide how to handle the Sunday game after their team owner’s remarks surfaced.
Texans left tackle Duane Brown said on Sunday morning that he expects “up to 65 to 70 percent” of the team’s players to kneel in protest. Brown also said that players would not remove the team’s decals from their helmets as had been discussed, ESPN reported.