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10 NFL players walk out after owner’s comment about anthem protesters

The Houston Texans coaching staff had to put out some fires Friday afternoon after it was revealed that owner Bob McNair, commenting on players who protest during the national anthem, said, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”

The comment, made last week during the NFL owners meetings, was revealed Friday morning in an ESPN report.

A source reportedly told ESPN that about 10 players, including Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, left the team facility Friday after hearing about McNair’s remark.

According to ESPN’s Adam Shefter, sources said Hopkins’ absence was directly related to the owner’s comment.

Running back D’Onta Foreman took it a step further, refusing to practice.

Many of the players did, however, return to the facility after the coaches pleaded with them, according to the report.

“When it happened, there’s a thousand emotions going through your mind,” left tackle Duane Brown said. “Obviously, one of the emotions is to leave the building immediately. [But] we decided to go to work. The situation’s not over. It’s something that we’ll reconvene and talk about again, but we had practice today.”

Texans coach Bill O’Brien, who said he broke the news of the comments to the team so they wouldn’t be blindsided, stood with his players.

“I’m 100 percent with these players,” O’Brien said. “I love these players, I love this coaching staff. We will show up in Seattle and play. We will play very hard. Seattle is a great football team with a great coaching staff. But we will be there when the ball is kicked off in Seattle.”

The 3-3 Texans travel to Seattle to face the 4-2 Seahawks on Sunday.

Hopkins, who took a “personal day,” is expected to show up for the team flight to Seattle along with the other players who did not return for the practice.

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Read article: thewildcard.com

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