The inmates may not be running the prison, but one of the wardens got interrogated on Friday.
According to TMZ, Colin Kaepernick‘s lawyers questioned Texans owner Bob McNair in Houston as part of Kaepernick’s claim that the league colluded to keep him unemployed.
Kaepernick was photographed leaving the proceedings, wearing a black T-shirt with “Kunta Kinte” in white letters.
The interest in questioning McNair came from his team’s lack of interest in Kaepernick after Deshaun Watson suffered a torn ACL last season and, more importantly, McNair’s controversial remark during an October ownership meeting that the league “can’t have the inmates running the prison,” in reference to efforts to resolve the controversy regarding player protests during the national anthem in order to bring attention to issues of police brutality directed against African-Americans and people of color.
Kaepernick, in 2016, was the first player to protest during the anthem. He became a free agent in early 2017, but no one offered him a contract.
Last year, former Texans tackle Duane Brown said that, when participated in anthem protests during the 2016 season, “there was no backing of my character as a man as a leader or a player . . . [and] [t]here was nothing said by [McNair] or the organization to back me at all.”
Lawyer Mark Geragos claimed in November, after the Texans failed to consider Kaepernick, that McNair had made Kaepernick’s case stronger.
“I just don’t understand the Texans,” Geragos said at the time. “If I’m Bob McNair, and maybe I’m addled and maybe I’m sick, I just don’t know. I mean, I’ll find out when I do his deposition. But if I’m Bob McNair and I’ve already misspoke and my players want to come and beat the crap out of me, I think that somebody should be whispering in my ear, ‘Sign Kap, sign Kap.’ Because that can redeem you, I would think, just from a public relations standpoint.”
Geragos also has described McNair’s “inmates running the prison” remark as critical proof of collusion.
“That’s about as good a smoking gun for collusion as you can get,” Geragos said. “‘We’re not going to let the inmates run the prison.'”
Many have argued that collusion will be impossible to prove, apparently under the belief that the case will require evidence of a secret agreement among all teams to avoid Kaepernick at all costs. His lawyers believe that collusion can be shown much more easily than that, with the league office (as controlled by a small handful of owners( being the conduit for spreading the word to the various teams, with the message not being a blatant “don’t sign Kaepernick,” but a far more subtle explanation that, for example, signing Kaepernick would generally be bad for business.
Other owners likely will be questioned soon, and it could end up being a hot topic as they prepare to gather in Orlando for the annual meetings, starting next weekend.