Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has since apologized for the remark.
Mcnair made the statement during a meeting last week with other NFL owners, according to a report from ESPN. The word offended players and NFL executives alike, with executive Troy Vincent saying that he never felt like an “inmate.”
McNair has since apologized for the remark.
“I regret that I used that expression,” McNair said in a statement. “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.”
The NFL is still trying to come to an agreement with players that are protesting against police brutality and white supremacy in America.
“Building on many discussions with clubs and players, we have worked to develop a plan that we will review with you at next week’s League meeting,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a previous memo. Goodell said that the plan would include continued dialogue and promoting the work of its players on key issues. However, he did not speak on what the plan would entail.
Players kneeling during the national anthem began last year with Colin Kaepernick when he did so during a game against San Diego when he was still with the San Francisco 49ers. Since then, a number of players have kneeled, with the protest causing controversy and ultimately even being a topic of discussion for Donald Trump.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump said during a rally in Alabama. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it [but] they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”