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Sunday
Oct292017

NFL Texans kneel during pregame protest over owner's comparing players to 'inmates'

Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images(SEATTLE) -- The majority of Houston Texans players took a knee or sat during a pregame protest as a unit before Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The players all held hands. Most kneeled or sat down, while at least one player appeared to remain standing.

The unified silent display during the Star-Spangled Banner came in the wake of team owner Bob McNair's controversial "inmates running the prison" comment, according to sources. McNair's comment was made during the owners meeting in New York earlier this month. Referring to ongoing player demonstrations during the anthem, he said, "We can't have the inmates running the prison."

McNair apologized for the comment Friday and again on Saturday: "I am truly sorry to the players for how this has impacted them and the perception that it has created of me, which could not be further from the truth."

On Saturday morning, he met with Texans players and expressed regret for the initial comment. One day earlier, Texans players considered a walkout from the team facility, and two players -- star wideout DeAndre Hopkins and backup running back D'Onta Foreman -- were listed as "Did Not Practice-Not Injury-Related" on the injury report, absences that sources said were directly related to what McNair said.

Also on Saturday, a coalition of NFL players extended an invitation to McNair, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and unsigned quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a Monday meeting in Philadelphia at which they hope to address players' "immediate concerns before additional progress can be made."

It was not immediately known if McNair, Goodell or Kaepernick would attend. A league spokesman had said earlier this week that Kaepernick was expected to be invited to the next meeting between NFL players and owners.

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