Arian Foster on Bob McNair's 'inmates' comment: 'Doesn't surprise me ... he is an 80-year-old white man'

Former Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has released a rap album.

The four-time Pro Bowler recently spoke with USA Today about his new career and broached on social issues the NFL is struggling with, including divisive comments made by his former employer and Texans owner Bob McNair.

In October, ESPN quoted McNair as saying “We can’t have the inmates running the prison” during a meeting between players and owners at the height of the Colin Kaepernick kneeling controversy. McNair made the statement while speaking against players kneeling and drew immediate criticism for his words. 

Arian Foster: Owners view players as inmates

Foster, who played for McNair’s Texans from 2009-15, told USA Today he wasn’t surprised by McNair’s comments.

“You hear the rumblings, so … that was my first thought – that it didn’t surprise me he thought like that. Knowing my experience of being an NFL player, it is of my understanding that that’s how they view the players anyway. 

Foster invited McNair in April to join him on his podcast “Now What” on Twitter.

That conversation apparently has not happened. McNair has not appeared on Foster’s podcast.

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair
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Houston Texans owner Bob McNair
Houston Texans NFL expansion franchise owner Bob McNair makes a point during a news conference announcing the signing of the team's first ten players December 29, 2001 in Houston. The new franchise is currently limited to ten players, can sign free agents January 8, 2002 but will select the bulk of their roster during the NFL expansion draft February 18, 2002. REUTERS/Richard Carson RJC/ME
Mark Davis (L), son of Oakland Raider's owner Al Davis, talks with Houston Texans owner Bob McNair (C) as he is greeted on the field before their NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Houston October 9, 2011. Al Davis, the outspoken Hall of Fame owner of the National Football League's Oakland Raiders, died on Saturday at the age of 82, the team's official website reported. REUTERS/Richard Carson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL OBITUARY)
Former North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams (C) holds a Houston Texans jersey as he stands with Texans owner Bob McNair (R) and NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue after being selected by the Texans as the first overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York April 29, 2006. REUTERS/Jeff Zelevansky
Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, greets Texans fans before his team's season opening NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers in San Diego, California September 9, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL PROFILE)
JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 12: Owner Bob McNair of the Houston Texans looks on before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 12, 2006 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Texans defeated the Jaguars 13-10. (Photo by Bill Baptist/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - AUGUST 15: Houston Texans owner Bob McNair looks on during a pre-season game between the Houston Texans and New York Jets at Reliant Stadium on August 15, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
05 October 2008: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell(left) and Texans owner Bob McNair chat prior to game against the Colts at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX. (Photo by John Rivera /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 13: Houston Texans owner Bob McNair looks on prior to the 2013 AFC Divisional Playoffs game between the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on January 13, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 22: Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans, reacts after his team wins the game against the New York Jets at NRG Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Houston, Texas. The Texans defeated the Jets 24-17. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09: Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans talks with owner Bob McNair during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas. Kansas City Chiefs won 30-0. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 03: Tom Savage #3 of the Houston Texans talks with owner Bob McNair prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 14: Houston Texans owner Bob McNair on the sideline before the Houston Texans Vs New England Patriots Divisional round game during the NFL play-offs on January 14th, 2017 at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Foster not surprised by comment from ’80-year-old white man’

Foster took a pragmatic approach to digesting McNair’s words when talking with USA Today.

I absolutely take who (McNair) is and where he comes from into consideration. He is an 80-year-old white man. When he was younger the prevailing thought was that there are two races that don’t really belong together. He could have been brought up to where he was raised the exact opposite and I am totally open to that. I come to the conclusion that it doesn’t bother and it just doesn’t surprise me if that is how he thinks and I am not going to lose any sleep over how Bob McNair views the players.

Foster doesn’t believe Kaepernick’s job troubles are strictly race-based

Foster told USA Today that he doesn’t believe the fact that Kaepernick doesn’t have a job is based on race, but rather a fear from owners of dealing with a media circus.

Kaepernick hasn’t had an NFL job since 2016 despite demonstrating an ability to play quarterback at an NFL level. Kapernick has filed a collusion grievance against the league, believing teams have coordinated to keep him unemployed. McNair was deposed in March as part of the grievance.

“I think that’s more so to do with the media storm that surrounds Colin Kaepernick if he signs with a team and teams don’t want to deal with that. I think it is dishonest that (the owners) won’t admit that, absolutely.”

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