The Houston Texans spark controversy again

Players on the Texans will not be able to take a knee

More stories from Rebecca Mennecke



Houston Texans said the allegations are “categorically false and without merit.”

The controversy with the Houston Texans continues with the more recent allegation that the Texans will not be signing any player who chooses to take a knee or participate in protests.

Jerome Solomon from The Houston Chronicle claimed to have spoken to two unnamed NFL agents and said, “It is considered to be understood that as desperate as the Texans are to bring in talent, the pool of potential signees and draftees will not include anyone who has participated in protests or are likely to.”

However, the team issued a statement that rejected the allegations, saying, “A recent report that suggests the Houston Texans would not sign a player who has protested in support of social justice issues is categorically false and without merit. The Texans ownership, coaching, personnel and executive staff sign and hire employees based on talent, character and fit within our organization.”

Bob McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans, sparked controversy last season over his statements regarding players who choose to kneel during the national anthem.

Last season, McNair said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”

McNair apologized for the statement on Twitter, saying, “I regret that I used that expression. I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players. I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally. I would never characterize our players or our league that way and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it.”

Many players walked out of practice, openly disapproved of McNair on social media and in one game, the Texans collectively linked arms and took a knee.

Trump, who has gained the support of McNair with a $4.5 million donation to Trump’s campaign (the most money donated to Trump from any of the league owners) suggested that players who take a knee should be fired.

According to The State, he later softened his opinion, saying that “All they have to do is say, ‘do the kneel, you’re out for one game, right? You do another kneel, you’re out for two games. You do another one, you’re out for three games, and you do another one, you’re out for the season.”

Taking a knee to racial injustice in the United States has taken the media by storm in recent years. However, every person has the right to free speech and the right to protest peacefully. Most can agree that by taking a knee, the participants are protesting racial inequalities within their rights.

I understand how the idea of taking a knee to something as fundamentally American as the national anthem seems “anti-American” but that is the point. By taking a knee, a player is saying that he (or she) is against an America that stands for racism. It’s un-American, but for a legitimate reason.

According to the Daily Beast, approximately 70 percent of the athletes in the NFL are people of color while 31 out of 32 of the NFL league owners are white. This context implied a racist undertone to McNair’s comments, reiterating the importance of taking a knee.

That can be a hard fact to swallow, but it can also be hard to swallow the fact that even though it is the twenty-first century, racism is still alive and thriving in the United States.