HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A community forum took place on Monday to discuss Houston Texans owner Bob McNair's recent controversial comments that sparked a nationwide debate.
The public, civil rights leaders, even an ex-football player, gathered at the Community of Faith in north Houston to discuss the current state of the NFL and social injustices in light of McNair's comment.
This meeting coming even after the Texans owner issued a second apology over the weekend.
“Racism unchecked is what disrespects the flag and bigotry and discrimination is what disrespect the flag,” says Bishop James Dixon as he kicked off the forum at Community of Faith.
Players for the Texans knelt on Sunday as the national anthem was performed for the team's game against the Seattle Seahawks in Washington. The protest was praised by supporters at the community forum following a weekend of apologies from Texans owner Bob McNair.
"An apology only skirts the issue," says NAACP Houston chapter president James Douglas. "I mean it's clear there's something within his body that’s racist.”
It was during an owners meeting that McNair said the NFL can't have the "inmates running the prison," apparently referring to player protests during the national anthem.
"An erroneous statement," says Bishop Dixon. "A statement that is quite egregious. The fact that Bob McNair says that we cannot afford inmates to run the prison.”
Dozens attended the forum discussing the current state of the NFL, present day racism and oppression. Former NFL player Tony Hills supported Colin Kaepernick's initial decision to kneel.
"If they say, 'It’s not that time, you know it’s just the time to focus on football,' then I would ask, 'Then when is the right time?,” says Hills.
McNair, who continues his battle with cancer, was not at the forum even though he was invited, but on Saturday, he issued an apology saying his "inmate" comment was referring to the relationship between the NFL and team owners regarding decisions made without adequate owner input.
“One, the apology doesn’t make any sense...and it keeps changing,” says Douglas.
"They got to come to our community, have the conversation and face the truth," says Bishop Dixon. "Racism is alive and it has to be killed and if we’re not all on the same page, we’re going to forever be divided.”
Civil rights leaders are still wanting to speak with McNair about his comment and think a face-to-face, sit-down meeting is the best way to resolve this issue and move on.