There are no guaranteed contracts in the NFL and Seattle Sounders star Richard Sherman believes that is the only thing keeping the Houston Texans players from boycotting Sunday's game following comments made by their owner.
Bob McNair was quoted in a lengthy ESPN article, speaking at the NFL owners' meetings on October 17 about protests during the national anthem.
"We can't have the inmates running the prison," McNair said, "the inmates are running the asylum."
"Oh, yeah, those guys would probably sit this game out," Sherman told reporters on Friday.
McNair issued a statement on Friday, saying he regretted using that expression.
"I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players," McNair's statement read. "I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally. I would never characterise our players or our league that way and I apologise to anyone who was offended by it."
Sherman was among the NFL players who immediately reacted to McNair's comment, saying he appreciated the 79-year-old owner showing his "true colours."
"I appreciate when people like that show who they really are," Sherman said. "More people in the world have to be that kind and that open about how they really feel so you can identify them and make sure you stay away from those kind of people, and keep those people out of power.
"But, you know, of course they have to sit back and apologise, because it’s politically correct to apologize. But eventually you have take people for their word and for who they are.
"For most players, even when once we apologize they still take what we said and judge us by it. So you should do the same with him."
Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins and rookie running back D'Onta Foreman sat out Friday's practice in response to McNair's comment, according to reports.
Houston head coach Bill O'Brien said he supports his players, but the entire team will be in Seattle for Sunday's game.
Seahawks players are planning to do something in support of their Texans peers prior to the game.
"It sucks for them. It sucks they have to deal with that," Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "I wouldn't want to play for a guy like that.
"Like I said, people saying how they really feel. It's not a surprise. They've been like that. They are just finally starting to say it."