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Bob McNair regrets apologizing for ‘inmates’ comment

Bob McNair

A few months ago, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair put himself in a negative after making a controversial remark, saying “We can’t have the inmates running the prison” during an owners-platers meeting last year. The phrase sounds bad enough even without any context, so the fact that McNair uttered that at a time when NFL players were in the middle of a huge issue because of their demonstrating against social and racial injustice only made him look even more villainous.

McNair would later apologize but is being reported to be singing a very different tune today. In an interview with Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, McNair made it clear that he wishes he didn’t allow himself to admit that mistake.

“The main thing I regret is apologizing,” McNair says now. He insists the “inmates” he was referring to were not NFL players, but rather league executives who he felt had more control over major decisions than the owners. “I really didn’t have anything to apologize for.”

Several Texans players expressed their disgust over McNair’s original “inmates” comment with some even planning to walk out of a practice. At one point, All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins skipped practice in a demonstration against McNair.

Bob McNair’s retraction of his apology likely will not help fix the apparent damage in the relationship between him and Texans players, let alone his image in the view of the public.