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Patrick Creighton: It’s time for Bob McNair to ride off into the sunset

Patrick Creighton: It’s time for Bob McNair to ride off into the sunset
Bob McNair continues to make bad comments. Bob Levey/Getty Images

It’s almost like a really bad film is being made on the self-destruction of Texans owner Bob McNair and we are all extras in it.

Bob McNair made his fortune in the city of Houston, became a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and is a noted philanthropist who has founded the Robert & Janice McNair Foundation, and the Robert & Janice McNair Educational Foundation.  McNair has been on the Board of Trustees of Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Grand Opera, and more.

Bob McNair is also the man most responsible for the return of the NFL to Houston.

Unfortunately, it’s his involvement as owner of the NFL team that is causing him to come unraveled right before our eyes.

In his latest media faux pas, Bob McNair actually recanted his apology from October of last year.  

“The main thing I regret is apologizing,” McNair told the Wall Street Journal.  “I really didn’t have anything to apologize for.”

Clearly McNair just doesn’t get it.  His apology to his own team fell flat on the players. Johnathan Joseph even said so.   His insistence that he was really referring to the NFL league office and not the players with his comment about “inmates running the prison”is believed by no one but the man Bob McNair sees in the mirror each day, and that could be debatable.

After all, if McNair was really referring to the boys at 345 Park Ave, NYC, as the inmates, why give the man who would have to be considered the lead inmate – Roger Goodell – a new 5 year, $200M contract extension 18 months early?  Bob McNair was a member of the six man Compensation Committee that green lit the deal, and did so a week before the December owners’ meetings in Irving, Texas that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was supposed to get the floor at to discuss slowing down the process on that extension.

Does it make sense that a man would give a $200M contract to someone he feels is an inmate trying to run his prison?

McNair also went out of his way to call Duane Brown a liar, and in the process only gave further evidence that the reason the team would not negotiate a new deal with Brown and so hastily shipped him off to Seattle last season was because Brown had previously protested racial injustice during an anthem by raising his fist.

McNair denied Brown’s contention that the owner addressed the team following the election of President Obama.  

“I don’t go into meetings and express views like that,” said McNair.  “I never said that. He (Brown) has no problem saying things that are not true.”

Here’s the problem: McNair absolutely had this meeting, and multiple players before and after Duane Brown have confirmed this.  In fact, former Texans TE Owen Daniels appeared on ESPN Houston 97.5 with John Granato, Raheel Ramzanali & Del Olaleye on Thursday and said he was surprised McNair would make such a statement because the meeting did happen, and McNair did address the team about his dismay over the election of President Obama in 2008.

McNair got caught calling Duane Brown a liar, with a lie.

McNair further tried to disparage Brown by blaming his former Pro Bowl left tackle for the team rejecting his apology for the inmates comment.

McNair claimed he “just tried to tell the truth” to his players to help them understand what he truly meant, but that he couldn’t crack the locker room because “all Duane was trying to do was be a troublemaker.”  Brown was traded days later to the Seahawks for draft picks.

He further went on to compare players exercising their expression to a McDonald’s worker handing out burgers and telling people to be vegetarians, because clearly if players weren’t playing football, they’d be flipping burgers.  

Professional sports are unlike any other business, but why the burger joint analogy?  He could have chosen so many other businesses to compare but went for the lowest unskilled worker comparison.  I don’t think that was completely by accident. It falls in line with the idea players should be seen and not heard.  Players should obey and not think.

McNair continues to disservice himself, the team, and the league by continually putting his foot in his mouth to the media.  He’s quickly destroying the good will he’s worked hard to earn in the city he’s made his fame and fortune in.

I really don’t want to see Bob McNair wind up in eternal disgrace, the way his pal Jerry Richardson will (you will recall McNair tried to explain away Richardson’s sexual harassment and racist comments by saying that the Panthers owner was probably just joking).

You’re a very rich man Bob; go enjoy the rest of your life away from the media, away from the scrutiny, on a beach somewhere with Janice being treated like royalty.  Don’t continue to undo your legacy by being out of touch with modern times and social mores.

No one wants to continue to be a part of this film where you self-destruct, Bob.  People want to remember the Bob McNair who returned the NFL to Houston, not the one who was responsible for increased racial tensions between players and owners.

Before it’s too late, Bob, turn the keys over to Cal and ride off into the sunset.  

 

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Astros defeat the A's, 6-3. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer to highlight Houston's six-run fourth inning that backed Justin Verlander's winning start, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Verlander (3-2) struck out nine over six innings to increase hit total to 3,377, passing Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (3,371) for 10th on the career strikeouts list. He gave up two runs — one earned — on eight hits and didn't walk a batter for a second straight start and seventh time this year.

After another milestone to add to a long list of them, Verlander wasn't sure exactly how to feel.

“I feel like I should be more excited but I feel like I’m a little more introspective and reflective,” Verlander said. “A lot of sacrifices you make in this game, a lot of time away from the family, but I love it, so it’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if as a 21- or 22-year-old kid in professional baseball if I’d thought I’d be in the top-10 in anything. This sport’s been around for so long. Hard to put into words, but a lot of thoughts, a lot of thoughts went through my mind.”

When his teammates celebrated him once the special outing had ended, Verlander allowed himself to ponder the meaning.

Verlander remembers his first strikeout and he recalls one against Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas here at the Coliseum — and the pitcher wears No. 35 because of Thomas.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” he said.

A's manager Mark Kotsay, a former Oakland outfielder, has been witness to some of those.

“He’s just tough. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher. He knows his game plan and he executes it really well," Kotsay said. "He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.”

Yordan Alvarez added an RBI double and Josh Hader finished the 2-hour, 31-minute game with his seventh save for the Astros, who began a seven-game road trip.

After right-hander Ross Stripling (1-9) retired the first nine Houston hitters in order, Jose Altuve singled to start the fourth for the first of four straight hits that included Alex Bregman's two-run single.

The A's drew an announced crowd of 9,676 for the series opener after winning two of three against Colorado following an eight-game losing streak.

Miguel Andujar came off the injured list and immediately hit an RBI single in the first off Verlander and finished with three hits in his A's and season debut — including another run-scoring single in the seventh.

Andjuar's RBI marked the first time the A's have scored first in 18 games — ending the longest streak in franchise history. Batting cleanup, he also singled in the third.

Astros left fielder Chas McCormick robbed Max Schuemann of an extra-base hit when he crashed into the wall to make a great catch ending the eighth.

“That was a big play at the moment,” manager Joe Espada said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP José Urquidy was pulled from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land because of right forearm discomfort. He has been on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. ... 1B José Abreu is scheduled to rejoin the club Monday in Seattle after playing at least two games with Triple-A Sugar Land as he works to regain his hitting rhythm.

Athletics: Andujar had been sidelined all season after having meniscus surgery on his right knee. He was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on Nov. 6. Oakland created roster room by optioning INF Brett Harris to Triple-A Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-4, 7.16 ERA) pitches for the Astros in the middle game opposite A's LHP JP Sears (3-3, 4.31).

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