Pattern of behavior

Patrick Creighton: Is it time to face facts with Texans owner Bob McNair?

Is it time to question Texans owner Bob McNair? Bob Levey/Getty Images

Bill Parcells has a famous quote. “You are what your record says you are.”  Bob McNair’s record right now isn’t looking very good.

In October, at a meeting between owners and players regarding demonstrations during the playing of the national anthem, McNair used the regrettable phrase “can’t have the inmates running the prison.”  NFL EVP of Football Operations Troy Vincent got up and left he was so angry. Texans players were incensed, and some even walked out of practice. McNair tried to smooth things over with the team, but failed.

Twenty days ago, stories broke about how the Texans wouldn’t consider signing a player who either had demonstrated during the anthem or may demonstrate during the anthem in the future.  McNair clearly has shown very little understanding of issues that are important to a majority of his player over the last six months. (While the Texans did have the PR deparment issue a denial of this, it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on, and McNair himself was silent).

Sunday, according to reports, McNair let loose another doozy in another owners’ meeting.  Actually, he let loose two of them.

In one instance, he made it abundantly clear he has no concept of why players demonstrate for social justice and against excessive police force and brutality vs. African Americans with his comments on the NFL’s anthem policy:

“We’re going to deal with it in such a way, I think, that people will understand that we want everybody to respect our country, respect our flag.  And our playing fields, that’s not the place for political statements.”

Everyone with half of a brain understands that the demonstrations have nothing to do with disrespect to America, or to our veterans, yet here’s an NFL owner demonstrating that facts should never get in the way of a good story or quote.

(Cue the K-Tel Records pitchman) But wait, there’s more!

McNair also took up for maligned Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who is selling the team under the duress of being investigated for multiple incidents of sexual harassment.  Here’s McNair’s defense of his rich, white fellow owner:

“Some of the comments could have been made jokingly.  I’m sure he didn’t mean to offend anybody.”

So now, Bob McNair is telling us that inappropriate sexual comments made as jokes in the workplace are OK? I’m pretty sure the government differs with you on this, Bob, not to mention the women who were subjected to the harassment.  These women will also tell you there was a lot more than just "inappropriate joking comments" that occurred.

The optics are horrifying.  Issues that are important to African American players must be squashed, and it’s OK for old, rich, white guys to be total pervs when they own the business.

To see McNair essentially challenge players that they are going to stand up in the same meeting he’s making excuses for a sexual harasser is straight lunacy.  Apparently priorities are mixed up here.

Unless McNair has his priorities perfectly aligned, because fans don’t get angry over pervert owners, only players who want equality.  No one is threatening his pocketbook over protecting a creep. Money always trumps doing the right thing.

This is why the comments made by Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive (an immigrant from Bombay, no less) were so important.  He understands the place professional sports hold in our society and the power of the platform they have to affect positive change.  This is something NFL owners refuse to even acknowledge.

If once is an outlier, twice is a coincidence, and three times is pattern, maybe we need to accept the facts with Bob McNair.

His record is on full display.  You get to be the judge.

Patrick Creighton is the host of “Nate & Creight” heard Mon-Fri 1-3p on SportsMap 94.1FM, and “Sports & Shenanigans” Sundays 12-5p CT on SB Nation Radio.  Follow him on Twitter at @pcreighton1


Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
The Astros suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Yankees Thursday. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

After an impressive two-game sweep of the NL-best Mets at home earlier in the week, the Astros took to the road to begin a four-game series with the league-best Yankees on Thursday night. To little surprise, the series started with a bang (no, not a trash can bang) in more ways than one, confirming that this series should be a must-watch this weekend.

New York's comeback proves no lead will be safe

Right from the get-go, the loud Yankee Stadium faithful had their chance to rain boos down on Jose Altuve before showing some pleasure as he led off the series by being hit by a pitch. They were quickly, though only temporarily, quieted as Altuve would come in to score two batters later on a three-run blast by Alex Bregman.

Three-run homers seemed to be a theme, as New York would get one of their own to tie the game off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton to tie the game, then Yordan Alvarez continued his dominant June by pushing the Astros back in front by three with another three-run bomb in the third, making it 6-3. That lead held through to the bottom of the ninth, where instead of holding it, Ryan Pressly issued two walks to set up the fourth homer of the game to tie things again before Aaron Judge would get a walk-off single to complete the impressive comeback.

Not only will we get to sit back and watch the slug-fest between Yordan and Judge this weekend, but it looks like with Alex Bregman swinging well again to round out the top of Houston's order, the Astros may be getting closer to their full power. So far in June, these two teams sit third and fourth in on-base percentage, with the Astros at .351 and the Yankees right behind at .350. That means we should continue to see scoring opportunities on both sides that can tilt momentum one way or the other as these lineups try to battle against the opposing pitcher.

How will the aces fare

Verlander vs. Judge, and Cole vs. Alvarez, need I say more? Although we won't see Justin Verlander go up against Gerrit Cole in the same game in this series (they should go head to head next Thursday, however), they will pitch on back-to-back days, with Houston's ace going Friday night and New York's on Saturday afternoon. Verlander is coming off his worst start of the year, a three and two-thirds inning outing where the White Sox put up seven runs, four earned, against him and knocked him out early to give him his third loss and increased his ERA from 1.94 to 2.30.

The last time he faced the Yankees was in the Bronx in the 2019 playoffs, in ALCS Game 5, where he went seven frames while allowing four runs, all on two homers in the first inning, which is all New York needed to grab the 4-1 victory to make it a 3-2 Houston lead in the series, which the Astros would go on to clinch in Game 6. So, with the double dose of bad taste in his mouth, it will be interesting to see if he can use that as the fuel to get back to the phenomenal form he's had this year or if the Yankees try to jump on him early like they did nearly three years ago.

Cole, meanwhile, is fresh off of two quality starts in a row against the Rays, where he allowed just one run on six hits with nineteen strikeouts over 13.1 innings of work. He's had his share of strife this season, though, including a seven-run shelling by the Twins earlier this month, along with a start in April where he couldn't make it through two innings against the Tigers. He's had success against his former club, most notably a complete-game shutout in Houston last July with twelve K's and holding the Astros to just three hits.

If the series opener was any indication, we are in for the treat of a playoff-caliber matchup, if not a potential ALCS preview that we may see in October. The Yankees showed why they have the best record and are the hottest team in baseball on Thursday night, but the Astros were only a good outing from their closer away from having a relatively lopsided win. The rivalry is real; the competition is close, and we get to enjoy the show.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome