Most Texans take a knee after owner’s comment

SEATTLE — Only 10 active Houston Texans players stood for the national anthem, with the rest of the team kneeling down, ahead of their game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday.

The Texans had indicated there would be some type of protest following comments by owner Bob McNair. McNair has issued two apologies and is attempting to explain his comments after a story in ESPN The Magazine this week revealed that he said “we can’t have the inmates running the prison” during a meeting of NFL owners about players who protest by kneeling during the national anthem.

McNair later said he wasn’t referring to the players in what he calls a “very regretful comment.” Instead he says he was “referring to the relationship between the league office and team owners and how they have been making significant strategic decisions affecting our league without adequate input from ownership over the past few years.”

McNair’s comment was published in a story about two recent days of meetings among owners, players and others to discuss the protests that have drawn the ire of President Donald Trump. Players, following the lead of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, say they kneel to protest social injustices, particularly against African-Americans. Trump has sharply criticized the protests and even called on NFL owners to fire players.

The meetings earlier this month did not result in a policy change that would require players to stand for the anthem. Owners and players are expected to meet again next week to discuss initiatives.

There were reports the Texans would consider staying in the locker room for the anthem, but the entire team took the field about 10 minutes before kickoff. When the anthem started more than half the active roster took a knee.

The majority of Seattle’s defensive line continued to sit as it has for most of the season.