To kneel, or not to kneel. While the debate continues, more fuel was thrown on the fire forcing the players hands in speaking out against racial injustice, as the Texans are now dealing with an escalating situation that could rally and strengthen not only the team, but the entire NFL in their peaceful protests during the national anthem.

Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins was a no show today at practice. While Head Coach Bill O'Brien told media Hopkins had taken "a personal day," we now know the real reason behind Hopkins mysterious absence just 2 days before Houston faces the Seahawks.

Hopkins intentionally skipped practice after hearing that Texans owner Bob McNair was quoted in an ESPN story Friday referring to NFL players protesting, saying "We can't have the inmates running the prison." Those words were reportedly said by McNair at meetings between team owners and players.

Adam Schefter reported via twitter that Hopkins in fact had purposely skipped practice because of McNair's remarks.


While Hopkins was the only player to skip today's practice, the team was facing a much larger, full-fledged protest from players, in which they reportedly had to be "persuaded" to stay.


As a result of McNair's insensitive comments, Texans GM Rick Smith and Head Coach Romeo Crennel, according to Schefter, held a 90 minute open discussion with players after the unrest.

McNair has reportedly apologized for his comments, saying he wasn't referring to the players, and his words weren't meant to be taken literally. If he wasn't referring to the players, then just who was he referring to exactly? If his words weren't meant to be taken literally, which may be fair, it was just a truly horrible choice of words, given the subject matter and the what's being protested. In fact the choice of words probably couldn't have been more insensitive.

To his credit, McNair did offer this apology, saying he didn't mean to offend anyone. But that doesn't diminish the poor choice of words in light of what's taking place across the NFL, and more importantly, across the country at what's being protested.

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Stay tuned for more on the story and what repercussions this could have throughout the league, and Hopkins status for Sunday.