Houston Texans owner Bob McNair sparked outrage when he referred to kneeling NFL players as "inmates running the prison".
McNair reportedly said “We can’t have the inmates running the prison," during a closed door team owners meeting last week, according to ESPN’s Outside the Lines.
Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, right, was the first player to walk off the field and call it a day.
Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said Hopkins took a "personal day off."
O’Brien also said he “100 percent stands with his players."
McNair quickly apologized in a statement released by the Texans on Friday.
"I regret that I used that expression. I never meant to offend anyone and I was not referring to our players," he said.
"I used a figure of speech that was never intended to be taken literally. I would never characterize our players or our league that way and I apologize to anyone who was offended by it."
Texans left tackle Duane Brown said he was "sickened" and "very upset" by McNair's comments.
He said all of the players considered walking out of practice on Friday.