SEATTLE — All but 10 members of the Houston Texans took a knee during the national anthem Sunday, as the vast majority of the team protested the owner’s “inmates running the prison” comment.
The Texans had indicated there would be some type of protest following the comments by owner Bob McNair.
McNair issued two apologies attempting to explain his comments after a story in ESPN The Magazine revealed that he said “we can’t have the inmates running the prison” during a meeting of NFL owners about players protests.
The entire team took the field about 10 minutes before kickoff. When the anthem started the majority of the active roster (approximately 43 players) took a knee.
It appeared that all of the black players on Houston’s roster took a knee, while at least one white player — Ben Heeney — also knelt.
The players that remained standing were: LB Brian Peters, P Shane Lechler, long snapper Jon Weeks, FB Jay Prosch, T Breno Giacomini, C Nick Martin, C Greg Mancz, TE Ryan Griffin, QB Tom Savage G and G Xavier Su’a-Filo, who is of Samoan decent.
The majority of Seattle’s defensive line continued to sit as it has for most of the season. Before Sunday, very few Texans had been protesting other than on Sept. 24, when 200 players around the league protested following President Donald Trump’s criticism.
Owners decline invitation for meeting with players
PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the founders of The Players Coalition, said the next proposed meeting between the owners and players to discuss social justice initiatives has been canceled.
“The league didn’t accept our invitation,” Jenkins said Sunday.
NFL players proposed to meet Monday in Philadelphia. Jenkins said the league cited scheduling issues.
“At this point, the ball is in their court,” Jenkins said. “We’ll continue to do what we’ve been doing. Guys are working around the league.”
The league and players met last week in New York to discuss player demonstrations during the national anthem and other issues.
“They want to get back to football; we want to move past anthem demonstrations,” Jenkins said. “But to do that, we need to be able to replace the platform that we have.”
Jenkins wants a venue outside the stadium and not during the anthem for athletes to raise awareness of social issues.
“We don’t really enjoy doing this,” Jenkins said. “We’d love to have a different platform and we think that’s something we could work collaboratively with the NFL to create, to actually draw awareness to the issues we’re doing, to use the NFL as a vehicle to make real change.”