During a confidential NFL meeting between NFL owners and current and former players, Houston Texans owner Bob McNair tried to persuade players to tell their colleagues to stop kneeling during the national anthem, reports the New York Times.
The three-hour meeting in October took place at NFL headquarters in New York and the Timesobtained an audio recording of the proceedings.
“You fellas need to ask your compadres, fellas, stop that other business, let’s go out and do something that really produces positive results, and we’ll help you.” McNair reportedly said.
McNair has been vocal about his stance concerning the national anthem over the past year.
He compared NFL players to “inmates running the prison" for their protests. He apologized for the comments, but later said he regretted making the apology, because “I really didn’t have anything to apologize for."
Kaepernick, 30, has not played since the 2016 season after protesting the national anthem throughout that season while trying to raise awareness of racial inequality and police brutality.
Kaepernick filed a grievance last October against NFL owners for collusion, claiming they schemed to keep him off the football field because of his protests not his football ability.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and McNair were deposed in the case.
In September, President Donald Trump said the players who kneel for the national amthem should be fired.
During the confidential meeting, owners had plenty to say about Trump.
“The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interests of America,” said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “It’s divisive and it’s horrible.”
“We’ve got to be careful not to be baited by Trump or whomever else,” added Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. “We have to find a way to not be divided and not get baited."