Did Bob McNair’s ‘Prison’ Comments Lead To DeAndre Hopkins Skipping Work?

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UPDATE (2:48 p.m. ET): ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, citing a source, that DeAndre Hopkins’ absence from Houston Texans practice Friday was related to owner Bob McNair’s comments.

In fact, the situation could have been even worse for the Texans, as even more players reportedly planned on walking out.

ORIGINAL STORY: DeAndre Hopkins missed Houston Texans practice Friday. He was neither injured nor sick; he took a personal day, head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters.

… which is odd, considering the Texans are halfway through the NFL season and still very much involved in a playoff race. They have a huge game this Sunday when they go to Seattle to take on the Seahawks, a potentially season-altering game, especially if Houston wins.

So, why didn’t Hopkins make it to work on Friday? O’Brien didn’t really offer too many answers, but it’s worth wondering whether Hopkins was taking a stand. Earlier in the day, a long ESPN the Magazine feature detailed recent meetings at the NFL league offices to discuss the ongoing protests players stage during the national anthem.

According to the ESPN piece, Texans owner Bob McNair said during the meetings that the NFL couldn’t afford to let the “inmates run the prison,” a statement that didn’t sit well in the room. McNair has since apologized for the comments, but reporters did ask O’Brien whether McNair’s comments and Hopkins’ absence were related. His answer was somewhat telling.

Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images

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