NFL owner likens protesting players to 'inmates'

What he said will only make player relations worse.

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has already rushed out an apology for his insensitive comment during a special league meeting to discuss the business impacts players protesting the national anthem are having on the game. 

ESPN The Magazine reported McNair's comment: "We can't have the inmates running the prison." 

McNair's apology: "I regret that I used that expression. I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players. I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally. I would never characterize our players or our league that way and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it." 

According to Bleacher Report, McNair's used the "inmates" expression after Cowboys owner Jerry Jones delivered a speech aimed at finding a solution to the protests, which he believes are hurting the league's overall business. 

CNN reported Friday that the NFL's television ratings are down 5 percent this year, which is actually less than the 8 percent drop the four major networks – NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox – have experienced in prime time. 

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