The Houston Texans have denied a report that stated the team has no interest in signing players who have protested during the national anthem or are likely to do so in the future.
A column in the Houston Chronicle on Saturday said, "there is no directive within the organization, but it is considered to be understood that … the pool of potential signees and draftees will not include anyone who has participated in protests or are likely to."
The Texans denied those claims in a statement Monday.
"A recent report that suggests the Houston Texans would not sign a player who has protested in support of social justice issues is categorically false and without merit," the team said. "The Texans ownership, coaching, personnel and executive staff sign and hire employees based on talent, character and fit within our organization."
In October, Texans owner Bob McNair was quoted as comparing players kneeling during the national anthem to "inmates running the prison." In an apparent response to that comment, the majority of the Texans players took a knee during the anthem before the team's next game.