Fri 27 Oct, 2017 02:38 pm
Houston Texans owner Bob McNair apologized, but his regrettable comments won’t be forgotten by his players that easily.
McNair reportedly said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison” during last week’s meetings between players and owners over the national anthem issue. McNair said he was using a figure of speech, but anyone should be able to understand why players wouldn’t be so quick to forgive.
The Texans considered a walkout Friday, according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN, and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins did leave. Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Hopkins took a “personal day” after he wasn’t seen at practice. Yahoo Sports’ Shalise Manza Young reports that Hopkins left the building due to McNair’s comments, according to a source. According to Manza Young, O’Brien and general manager Rick Smith met with the players over McNair’s comments.
Barshop also reported the Texans are planning something before Sunday’s game at Seattle but are unsure what that will be. Manza Young reported one possibility is some Texans could take the logo off their helmets.
Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown said he thought McNair’s comments were disrespectful and it “sickened” him, according to ESPN and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
“This is bigger than just the protests,” Brown said about McNair’s comments, according to Barshop. “This is the view of player-owner relationship. This is how you view us. You’re an inmate, we can’t let you guys out of line. We can’t let you speak for yourself. We can’t let you have your own beliefs. That’s what it feels like. It’s a bad situation.”
This is not a story that will go away simply because McNair put out a public apology. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green said on Instagram he thought McNair’s comments were “Donald Sterling-esque,” referring to the disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner. McNair’s comments drew an immediate and intense reaction, adding another layer to an already uncomfortable divide between players and owners.
Now McNair has angered at least a good number of his players, and they reportedly had to be convinced to not walk off the job Friday. His star receiver and one of the Texans’ most recognizable players did leave without practicing.
His apology was a step, but far from the final one if he wants to resolve a suddenly divisive situation.
From the article:
This is not a story that will go away simply because McNair put out a public apology. Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green said on Instagram he thought McNair’s comments were “Donald Sterling-esque,” referring to the disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner.
The Sterling issue was the first thing I thought of when I found out about the owner's comments.
The team is planning a protest at today's game.
Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown says that his team's owner, Bob McNair, has made controversial comments regarding players prior to his recent remarks about "inmates running the prison."
Brown, who recently returned from a holdout, says that after Barack Obama was elected as President of the United States in 2008, McNair expressed to players that he did not share their excitement.
"He came to talk to the team," Brown told Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, regarding the owner. "He was visibly upset about it. He said, 'I know a lot of y'all are happy right now, but it's not the outcome that some of us were looking for.' That was very shocking to me."
Related: Bob McNair meets with Texans players, regrets word choice
Brown recounted after Los Angles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was ousted from his position over racists comments, McNair shared a rather troubling opinion with the Texans players.
"The message was more to be careful who you have private conversations with, because things that you think are confidential can spread like wildfire," Brown said. "In my mind, it would probably have been better if he said 'don't be a racist' instead of 'be a racist in private and make sure it doesn't get out.'"
Brown says that since he began protesting during the national anthem last season, McNair hasn't had anything to so say to him.
The Seattle Seahawks have addressed their longstanding issue at left tackle by landing a player they faced Sunday.
The Seahawks acquired offensive tackle Duane Brown from the Houston Texans in a trade Monday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider confirmed. The Texans landed cornerback Jeremy Lane, a 2018 fifth-round pick and a 2019 second-round selection.
ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report the deal.
The NFL's trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
Brown started in the Seahawks' 41-38 win over the Texans on Friday, his first game back from an extended holdout.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, he helps stabilize a Seahawks front that has struggled to protect Russell Wilson or open holes for the 21st-ranked run game. Rees Odhiambo has been starting at left tackle after George Fant suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the preseason.
"We want him to finish his career here," Schneider said of Brown in a news conference after the deal was announced.
They could protest by staying home - if they wanted to be taken seriously.
The only reason they did not do more is because their contracts make it easy for them to get fired.
The man they just traded, as I pointed out above, was the most vocal and hardest to deal with.
To my mind, staying home was equivalent to quitting. So, great moral stance so long as their income and lifestyle weren't affected.
There are so many negative issues involving football these days, I am not going to be a fan any longer. Consider this from PDIddie's blog:
I can no longer be a fan of the National Football League.
This decision results from an uncomfortable truth that has become increasingly undeniable to me: The NFL, because of the values it fosters on such a grand scale, is arguably the most influential reactionary force in the United States today.
If this sounds like an exaggeration, consider the facts. The NFL’s appeal and cultural influence are vast, with loyal followers, young and old, all over the country who willingly devote large amounts of time and attention to it. Yet the values it propagates are antithetical to a progressive life stance. Militarism, nationalism, corporatism, excessive consumption, and even conservative religion and anti-intellectualism -- all are nurtured, directly or indirectly, with a sprinkling of sexism for good measure, by the league and its activities.
This was not an easy truth for me to face. I’ve followed the NFL longer than I’ve called myself a progressive, since the glory days of Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw. And as a New Englander, I suffered decades of disappointment as a Patriots fan before watching the team become a dynasty in the Belichick-Brady era. The Pats just won their fifth Super Bowl, but I’ve come to realize that the NFL, overtly and covertly, stands firmly opposed to my own progressive values. I’m walking away, knowing without a doubt I’m doing the right thing.
In the top ten reasons I'm quitting football are Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (more on them in a moment). Not so much that they are Trumpets but that they are cheaters. Cheaters aren't supposed to prosper, and these two won't any longer with any of my money, indirect as it may be.
Even as a fan for many years, I never felt entirely comfortable with the league’s eagerness to incorporate militarism into its events. I’ve never needed or wanted fighter jet flyovers, color guards or other military elements to enjoy a football game. Since September 11, 2001, however, pre-game and halftime activities are increasingly centered around the armed forces, molding the public mindset -- especially young minds -- to accept militarism as normal and quintessentially American. Little wonder that ads for military recruitment are commonplace during NFL games.
If progressives find militarism troubling, we also have a distaste for its close cousin, nationalism. The hyper-patriotism that permeates the NFL is apparent not only through its exaltation of the military, but more concretely via its treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who expressed peaceful dissent by sitting out the national anthem to protest the mistreatment of African Americans. Now a free agent, as of this writing, Kaepernick remains unsigned despite having the talent and credentials (he took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013) that would make him a starter on many rosters. All indications suggest he’s been blackballed.
Kaepernick is not just being blackballed by wealthy white owners, who are so conflicted themselves that they ask fans to pray for them even as they weigh the consequences of signing him (which might mean a revolt among their Trump fan base). Kaepernick is being publicly counseled by the likes of Ray Lewis to get back in his place. This criticism has a 'house negro/field negro' aspect, and Richard Sherman called that right out.
There's also something about slaves and masters that needs to be -- and fortunately has been -- said by someone who isn't white, like me.
This treatment of Kaepernick is disappointing, but it should come as no surprise. NFL football is not a game but a business constructed on an ultraconservative foundation. The NFL is totally reliant on corporate money for its lifeblood, selling as entertainment a game with two teams clashing in a violent, strategic battle on the gridiron, accompanied by regular grandiose displays of patriotism. With enormous contracts for the talented players, who are on the payroll of the aristocratic owners sitting in luxury boxes above the loyal masses, elitism is a defining characteristic.
NFL football may seem like a showcase for athletic talent, but we should remember that it serves primarily as a showcase for corporate products and services. Selling corporate America’s products is the reason the NFL exists, at least in the form we see today. NFL fans absorb a steady diet of advertising for beer, cars and trucks, financial services, sodas and snacks, fast food restaurants and more beer.
The major networks pay upwards of $3 billion annually to broadcast NFL games, meaning, of course, that the ad revenues they generate through their broadcasts far exceed that figure. Corporate America craves a passive audience willing to absorb its message, and that’s what the NFL provides. That message is to drink some beer, have some chips, go out and borrow some money to buy a new truck, and on the way home, stop at a drive-thru to get yourself and your kids some burgers and fries.
With its underlying conservative values, there is little tolerance for a dissenter like Kaepernick in the cultural DNA of the NFL. The league has little problem with players who abuse women, but a modest and legal gesture of political dissent is met with harsh ostracism. Prevailing sentiment can be seen through statements such as those of Boomer Esiason, a former quarterback who’s now a commentator for CBS Sports. Saying he was “disgusted,” Esiason called Kaepernick’s actions “disgraceful.” He added: “I would cut him.”
Thus, what we see with the NFL is a confluence of factors -- men with unique athletic abilities, a violent sport, wealthy owners, major corporations pursuing their interests, and a public that craves entertainment and willingly absorbs the messaging that accompanies the game -- that create an extremely powerful vehicle for shaping a culture that accepts corporatism and its underlying values.
As we consider the sorry state of American society today, it can’t be a coincidence that the undesirable values fostered by the NFL are so prevalent in the overall culture, from our willingness to go to war to our tolerance of wealth disparity and obedient submission to corporate power.
You might recall I once posted about how the NFL is socialism. That all remains true today, but socialism's goals include caring about, and for, the well-being of others, particularly the less fortunate. Like so many other American industries, the NFL's socialistic aspects are designed for obscene profits for a few at the very top, already well off; an obvious and direct contradiction. The socialism is far, far outweighed by the league's greedy capitalist Randian philosophies and adherents.
Indeed, while the NFL has no official political position, the sympathies it nurtures would make Ayn Rand proud. “I don’t believe in safety nets,” former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway once quipped. “I believe we’re given the opportunity to succeed or not succeed…. But I think my philosophy is, when given the opportunity, to go take advantage of that.”
Such are the core principles of a rich, strong, healthy, white, retired NFL quarterback. I succeeded, so why can’t you? As we hear Esiason rant against Kaepernick and watch others among the NFL elite, such as the Patriots power trio of Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady rubbing elbows with Donald Trump, the league’s defining class and dominant philosophy come into focus.
It’s important to understand that the NFL’s influence reaches deep into the heart of America, with football now a major institution in many communities, from small towns to major universities. Foreign students are baffled at the sports obsession in US schools, and football, of course, is most often the centerpiece of school sports programs.
And if you play football in the Bible belt, which is a breeding ground for NFL and Division 1 college players, you probably went to a school that has active members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, even among coaching staff. Many activist Christian coaches see proselytizing and saving young souls as an important part of their job. As legal director of the American Humanist Association, I’ve seen numerous instances of public school coaches promoting Christianity, unconstitutionally praying with students and even baptizing players. This is the environment in much of the NFL’s talent pool at the grassroots level, and it is not a welcoming place for religious minorities and nonbelievers.
Ah, yes. Pointing at the sky after a touchdown. Taking a knee and bowing their heads after the game, or every time a warrior falls to injury. "That hole in the roof of (the old) Cowboy Stadium is there so that God can watch his favorite team".
"God" must be heartbroken since he can't see through the roof of the new palace Jerry Jones built ... and which he sold naming rights to another giant, shitty corporation named AT&T. You might be aware that their CEO, Randall Stephenson, who is also president of the Boy Scouts of America, needs a big favor from Trump so that his company can get larger and richer. Scout's honor.
To my fellow progressives who will remain loyal NFL fans (and there are many of you), I understand that we all have guilty pleasures. As I’ve grappled with being an NFL fan in recent years, becoming increasingly mindful of my own cognitive dissonance, I appreciate that some of you have even tried to help me rationalize it. One colleague whom I respect very much suggested that NFL football can be seen as a modern means of expressing our primal aggressive tendencies, an alternative to war and violent confrontation. I tried to accept that explanation, until I eventually realized that there is nothing truly civilized about the reactionary values promoted by the league.
So enjoy it if you must, but I encourage progressives to consider shedding the sedentary life of an NFL fan and the psychological conflict that necessarily accompanies it. This season, when asked if I’m ready for some football, the answer will be no.
Did you notice that the author left out any mention of the brain injuries? Of the NFL abandoning its promise to the players in that regard?
Great Contribution. Seriously considering my future involvement as a fan. Patriots former TE Hernandez and his criminality and the discovery of how damaged his brain was by those repeated concussions not to mention his drug use and PED use, made me reconsider my involvement as a fan.