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As if the “inmates running the prison” comment for which McNair apologized, then rescinded his apology were not enough, we now have more direct quotes from the Texans owner.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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Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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