One of the last times we checked in with Texans owner Bob McNair, he was shoveling money to bigots trying to kill a city ordinance that gave minorities and people his age extra protection from discrimination.
Of course, the HERO ordinance, which was actually on the books for a while without the world ending, was known mostly for including transgender people, which bugged the hell out of McNair. A few days after he wrote his check, he asked for his money back, apparently irked by unanticipated bad publicity.
A cynical person might have accused McNair of lacking conviction, of being afraid to voice his opinion no matter how odious. But if McNair's statements in a recent New York Times Magazine profile on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are any indication, such is not the case.
Asked by writer Mark Leibovich how he feels about a team with the moniker "Redskins," McNair offered the following:
McNair told me that he grew up in western North Carolina, around many Cherokee Indians. "Everybody respected their courage," McNair told me of the Indians. "They might not have respected the way they held their whiskey, but. ..." He laughed. "We respected their courage. They’re very brave people."
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The way they held their whiskey?
Filtered through that lens, we see why McNair doesn't find "Redskins" offensive. Because it signifies a courageous people. A drunken, courageous people.
It also makes us reconsider former punter Chris Kluwe's thoughts on McNair's opposition to HERO, in which Kluwe referred to McNair as a "cowhumper."
Maybe that's not actually an offensive term. After all, we grew up around many cowhumpers. Everybody respected their courage — not so much their stupidity. They're a brave people. We hope one day McNair wears that name proudly, emblazoned on a helmet, for the world to see.