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Patrick Creighton: Bob McNair doesn’t care about his players' concerns, and now it’s on tape

Bob McNair can't stay out of the news. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

In light of the leaked audio to the New York Times of the special emergency meeting between NFL owners and players from October 2017, we have now gotten a real accounting of just how phony Bob McNair is when he talks about caring about his players.

As if the “inmates running the prison” comment for which McNair apologized, then rescinded his apology were not enough, we now have more direct quotes from the Texans owner.

“You fellas need to ask your compadres, fellas, stop that other business, let’s go out and do something that really produces positive results, and we’ll help you,” McNair said at the meeting.  We know now, thanks to hindsight, this was a huge blast of hot air up the tailpipe.

McNair clearly was never interested in helping the players address their platform, just in getting them to stop kneeling in protest of social injustice during the anthem.

Colin Kaepernick has made a difference, in donating $1M to multiple grass roots charities, in being the face of a movement, culminating in his receiving an award from Amnesty International just last week.  Other players have worked with civic leaders and law enforcement officials to help bring communities back together. Owners have done nothing.

The disingenuous words of McNair are disturbing, the self-serving nature of which is blatantly transparent.  

The main objective of the owners in this meeting was, as Bills owner Terry Pegula stated, to ”put a Band-Aid on what’s going on....”

While he is clearly not the only owner who was seeking a self-serving solution, Mr. McNair’s repeated patterns both public and private continue to show an uglier side of a man previously known for being magnanimous and charitable.

Mr. McNair made it clear via his words and his subsequent actions that players cannot trust him when he speaks on working with them.  These aren’t issues of football, owners, players, or the like, they’re human issues. Players want to make a positive impact, owners are hindering them.

Former 49ers S Eric Reid made what could be the most powerful statement of the three hour meeting:

“Everyone in here is talking about how much they support us.  Nobody stepped up and said we support Colin’s right to do this.  We all let him become Public Enemy number 1 in this country…”

All the owners fell silent, including McNair.

The sports world gets up in arms when NBA players are told to "shut up and dribble" yet the NFL can pull the same thing and it’s supposed to be OK?  

McNair has dug himself a credibility hole, and until he backs up his previous claim on helping the players with their platform, he’s never getting out of it.

Patrick Creighton is the host of “Late Hits” weeknights 7-9p CT on ESPN 97.5 Houston; “Straight Heat” weeknights 9p-12a CT on SB Nation Radio; “Nate & Creight” Sundays 12-5p CT on SB Nation Radio.  Follow him on Twitter: @pcreighton1

 

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