Texans owner Bob McNair facing backlash for saying NFL can't have 'inmates running the prison' about national anthem protests

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair used a poor choice of words at a recent NFL owners that now has him facing criticism.

According to ESPN's Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham, NFL owners recently met to discuss how to move on from national anthem protests.

After Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones gave a passionate speech about the need to make players stand for the national anthem, McNair said, "We can't have the inmates running the prison."

According to ESPN, the statement "stunned" some people in the room.

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NFL owners arrive at NFL meetings in New York
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NFL owners arrive at NFL meetings in New York
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones arrives for the NFL owners meeting in New York City, NY, U.S. October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Chairman of the New York Giants Steve Tisch arrives for the NFL owners meeting in New York City, NY, U.S. October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft arrives for the NFL owners meeting in New York City, NY, U.S. October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank arrive together for the NFL owners meeting in New York City, NY, U.S. October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars Shahid Khan arrives for the NFL owners meeting in New York City, U.S., October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
President of the New York Giants John Mara arrives for the NFL owners meeting in New York City, U.S., October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Chairman and CEO of the Philadelphia Eagles Jeffrey Lurie arrives for the NFL owners meeting in New York City, U.S., October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Oct 17, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Giants chairman and executive vice president Steve Tisch attends the NFL owners meeting at Conrad Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones at the NFL owners meeting at Conrad Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones speaks to members of the media as he exits the NFL owners meeting in New York City, U.S. October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Oct 17, 2017; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media after the NFL owners meeting at Conrad Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports
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Though owners continued arguing, later on, NFL executive Troy Vincent, a former player, reportedly called McNair's statement offensive. According to the report, McNair later took Vincent aside and apologized, saying he felt "terrible" for the comment and only meant to use a popular idiom, not reflect players as "inmates."

McNair also apologized through the Texans on Friday:

Nonetheless, the comment has drawn criticism throughout the sports world.

McNair, a multimillion dollar Trump donor, was reportedly one of the owners who, alongside Jones, was in favor of a mandate to make players stand. However, according to ESPN, owners could not come to an agreement on how to proceed over the anthem protests, with only nine owners voting in favor of a hardline stance.

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