HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — Of all the things the Houston Texans considered the last few weeks in NFL free agency, anthem demonstrations weren’t among them.
That’s according to general manager Brian Gaine, who addressed speculation by two NFL agents in a recent column by Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle, suggesting that any player who has protested during the anthem or might would be a non-starter.
“Non-factor,” Gaine said.
Bob McNair’s comments at last year’s owners meetings did the Texans no favors, sparking protests throughout the league and even reportedly causing some tension with players. It’s possible that some players were so turned off, they refused to sign here.
But there’s little evidence to support the notion that having a social conscious is a deal-breaker for the Texans, now or in the future.
It’s unclear how many players such a mandate would even apply to.
Richard Sherman was among the more vocal members of the Seattle Seahawks, who’ve regularly spoken out on social issues, but his age, health and questions about scheme fit likely played more of a role in the decision to not sign him than his politics.
Nate Solder looks to be “the one that got away” this week, as the former New England Patriots left tackle signed with the New York Giants, leaving the market with few quality blind side protection options. But Solder has never been known for social activism.
Given this highly charged political climate, and click-bait articles that seem perpetuate it, the notion that McNair’s conservative values might impact the Texans football decisions is likely to linger. But there’s yet to be any hard evidence that it in fact exists.