Cal McNair, chairman and CEO of the Houston Texans, is under fire after he used an anti-Asian phrase during a team golf outing back in May. The revelation comes amid the league’s reckoning with the investigation into the Washington Football Team and Dan Snyder, and the fallout from leaked emails from that investigation.
As reported by NFL insider Mike Silver for Bally Sports, McNair was speaking to over 100 attendees at the Houston Texans Foundation Charity Golf Classic. In apologizing for the cancellation of the 2020 event, McNair referred to COVID-19 as “the China Virus.”
“I’m sorry that we couldn’t get together last year, because of the China Virus,” he said, to the shock of the crowd per the report. “Everyone gasped,” a person on hand for the event told Silver, “especially the people directly across from him.
“He and Hannah seemed to think it was hilarious. It was dead silent.”
EXCLUSIVE from @mikesilver —
Texans chairman Cal McNair used an anti-Asian slur at a team golf event that caused many in the audience to gasp.
— Bally Sports (@BallySports) October 26, 2021
The term “China Virus” has been linked to a rise in violence towards the Asian-American community over the last few years. The comments were also made just a week after Hannah McNair—Cal’s wife, who later joked about his comments—made a visit to a local Asian community center.
Asians make up just under 7-percent of Houstonians, a similar mark to the country as a whole.
“My comments at the event last May included an inappropriate choice of words,” McNair said in the statement released to Bally Sports. “I immediately apologized to people who approached me then and I apologize again now. I know how important it is to choose my words carefully. I would never want to offend anyone.”
Cal McNair took over as the Texans’ chairman and CEO after the death of his father Bob in Nov. 2018. His mother Janice serves as the team’s owner.
As the league continues to deal with the fallout of Jon Gruden’s racist comments, and other things stemming from the Washington Football Team controversy, this was probably the last thing it needed.
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