Seahawks Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner expanded on their Twitter comments ripping Houston owner Bob McNair following Friday's practice.
As disturbing as Richard Sherman feels the comment from Houston Texans owner Bob McNair revealed Friday really is, the Seahawks cornerback was also glad it was ultimately made public.
“Some of these owners are showing their true colors,’’ Sherman said following Seattle’s practice on Friday about a quote attributed to McNair in an ESPN story in which the Texans owner said of players that “we can’t have the inmates running the prison.’’
The quote was part of a lengthy story detailing what occurred at the NFL league meetings last week as owners voiced concerns about player protests during the national anthem.
Sherman was one of several Seahawks who took to Twitter Friday morning to criticize the comment, others including middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who tweeted “people sayin’ how they really feel.’’
Wagner, generally willing to talk at length on most topics, kept his comments on McNair brief when approached by reporters following practice, saying initially “who cares about him.’’
ESPN reported that some Texans wanted to walk out of practice Friday before all but two — receiver DeAndre Hopkins and running back D’Onta Foreman — decided to go on with their usual workout.
Adding an additional layer to the story from the Seahawks’ perspective is that Seattle hosts Houston on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at CenturyLink Field.
Wagner said of the Texans struggling with how to proceed in the wake of McNair’s comments that it “sucks for them. Sucks that they have to deal with that. But as far as myself I don’t (have a thought on that). My job is to make sure we win this game, which I will do. But it sucks that they have to deal with that. I wouldn’t want to play for a guy like that.’’
Both Sherman and Wagner noted the contrast in McNair, identified in the ESPN story as “a multimillion-dollar (Donald) Trump campaign contributor,’’ and Seattle owner Paul Allen.
Sherman said “if he (McNair) was our owner I would feel strongly. But our owner is awesome. He feels like people should be treated equally and is all about civil rights and equality and he’s done his part as a philanthropist. So Thank God we don’t have to worry about our owner being involved in some that.’’ Allen was not at the league meeting detailed in the story.
Said Wagner: “Very appreciate of Paul. Feel like we have a great organization here. Like I said, people saying how they really feel. It’s not a surprise. It’s been like that. They are just finally starting to say it.’’
That echoed Sherman’s point, that McNair’s comment at least allows the players to know what they are dealing with.
“I appreciate when people like that show who they are,’’ Sherman said. “People in the world need to be more open and candid about how they truly feel so you can identify and stay away from those kind of people and keep those kind of people out of power.’’
Houston left tackle Duane Brown was quoted after practice as saying the Texan players will “reconvene’’ to decide how to proceed.
But Sherman said he didn’t anticipate a possible boycott by any players or any real change in Houston’s approach to the game.
“I’m sure they will still show up and play as hard as they can because they didn’t work hard and do all that sacrificing in the offseason and put their bodies on the line for this owner,’’ he said. “They are fighting for their teammates. They worked hard. They are going to put their hard work to use. But I think they will make their points and make their points known because obviously he does not value them in the same way they once saw it.’’
Wagner said he had some close friends on the Texans but didn’t want to reveal what any of them had said. Sherman is close with Hopkins, among others, but said he had not been in contact with him much this week since Seattle is playing Houston.
Sherman said one reason he wouldn’t anticipate a boycott is the lack of guaranteed contracts in the NFL.
“If contracts were still guaranteed afterwards, oh yeah these guys would probably sit this game out,’’ Sherman said. “Because I’m sure they’ve had interactions with him that gave them this inclination or notion. But this confirmed what they had feared, I’m sure.’’
McNair issued a statement of apology but Sherman, who is Seattle’s player representative to the National Football League Players Association, dismissed it saying, “eventually you have to take people for their word and who they are.’’
“… even him exposing himself is progress because a lot of people who are racist and don’t think that equality is right and treat people equally are incredibly afraid to say it in public. They are afraid to say things like that in public because they are afraid of judgment, which tells you say something about yourself and your ideas. But I think the more brave people got, Trump is exposing a lot of people. A lot people are feeling emboldened, they are feeling liberated to say what they want to say, to really express their feelings. And I think once we get the honest truth out of everybody the world would be a better place because people wouldn’t have to hide behind their words, and then they will be ostracized from society and they will be looked at as the monster that they are and it’ll be awesome.’’
Thirteen NFL players met with owners last week to talk about the concerns they have that have led to some players sitting or kneeling during the anthem (though no Seahawks were present). No specific agreements or changes in the policy regarding the anthem came out of that meeting and it is expected that a group of players will meet with owners and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell again next week, as well.
Sherman said he did not think McNair’s comment should be viewed as a statement of how “higher-ups’’ in the NFL feel about players.
“No because that’s a generalization,’’ he said. “I wouldn’t say the higher-ups in the league feel the way that Bob does because I don’t think our owner does, and I think there are very progressive owners in this league who don’t feel that way. But do I think there are some conservative owners who have Confederate flags at their homes and things like that? Yes, yes I do. I don’t think that they feel like there is anything wrong with those ideologies and that Southern Heritage, in quotations. But do I think all owners think like that? No I don’t. I think there are some great owners in this league who have done everything they can to make this world a better place. But do I feel have some have that oldline of thinking? Yes. Yes, and he’s one of them.’’