The Houston Texans are going through an issue that is much bigger than football.
Team owner Bob McNair made controversial comments in a private meeting about player protests, saying the NFL "can't have the inmates running the prison." Naturally, those sent shockwaves right through the locker room and league at large.
What was originally reported as wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins missing practice for a 'personal day' was later said to be linked to McNair's comments.
Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins’ absence from practice today was related to Bob McNair’s comments, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2017
But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
ESPN's Sarah Barshop has also reported that the Texans team was ready to walk out, but had to be "persuaded" not to leave the facility.
Texans players wanted to walkout today in response to owner Bob McNair’s comments, per @sarahbarshop. Had to be persuaded to stay.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2017
Hopkins didn't stop, though.
Through all of this controversy, Texans Coach Bill O'Brien has stated that he stands with his players, a good sign of unity after such a controversial statement and immediate backlash.
McNair has since issued a public apology.
Despite attending practice today, the issue remains in the minds of every player in the organization, and they will certainly revisit ways to make their voices heard.
Duane Brown said players met before practice and decided to practice ultimately but it's not over and players will reconvene— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) October 27, 2017
Amid the city of Houston's efforts to rebuild and come together following a natural disaster, this level of discord and controversy is the last thing that needed to happen.