HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown addressed insensitive comments made by owner Bob McNair in an ESPN story published on Friday, calling them “disrespectful,” “ignorant” and “embarassing.”
“I think it angered a lot of players, including myself,” Brown said. “We put our bodies and minds on the line every time we step onto that field, and to use an analogy of inmates in a prison, I’d say that’s disrespectful.”
Brown, 32, said he and several other Texans players considered walking out after reading the comments.
“When it happened, there’s 1,000 emotions going through your mind, and obviously one of those emotions is leaving the building completely,” Brown said. “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.”
DeAndre Hopkins, who leads the NFL in catches (37) and receiving touchdowns (6), was absent from Friday’s practice, though head coach Bill O’Brien said he’s expected to play on Sunday.
Brown said McNair has yet to address the team.
When asked about O’Brien, Brown said he and other players felt as if they had the full support of the coaching staff.
“One hundred percent,” Brown said. “We had a meeting in (the locker room) where we all just kind of voiced how we felt. I feel like he has our back for sure.”
A three time Pro Bowler, Brown ended his contract holdout this week, putting him in line to play against the Seattle Seahawks.
Brown, who was the only Texans player to demonstrate during the National Anthem last season, was asked if he was surprised to see the comments, given his personal interactions with McNair and what he’s heard about him and his behavior in the past.
“I haven’t seen anything quite like that, but I can’t say I’m surprised,” Brown said. “I’m sure there’s a lot of owners who feel that way. That was a meeting where they were all speaking amongst each other where they thought it was confidential and it got out. That’s where the apology comes in, but those are feelings. Those feelings were said.”
Brown said he was disappointed that players have to face this type of issue just two days before one of the toughest games of their season, and to see another example of a divisive political climate.
“It’s frustrating,” Brown said. “The climate that we’re in, as a country, as a league — to have that be said is crazy. For that to come out and be said, it’s horrible.”
Brown is in the second to last year of his contract, which is scheduled to pay him $9.75 million next season.
Would he ever consider refusing to play for McNair?
“I don’t know,” Brown said. “This game, this locker room, this field isn’t just about him. So there’s a lot of factors you have to consider. But it’s definitely something that myself and I think a lot of people in here have to consider moving forward.”
Does he hope to speak to McNair at some point?
“We’ll see,” Brown said. “We’ll see what happens.”