The widespread national anthem protests in the NFL last season will reportedly have an impact on how the Houston Texans pursue free agents, two NFL agents told the Houston Chronicle.

“There is no directive within the organization, but it is considered to be understood that as desperate as the Texans are to bring in talent, the pool of potential signees and draftees will not include anyone who has participated in protests or are likely to,” the Houston Chronicle’s Jerome Solomon wrote after speaking to two NFL agents about the issue.

Dozens of NFL players regularly took a knee during the national anthem last season, continuing demonstrations that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the year before.

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair drew scorn last fall for having said of NFL players who protested racial injustice during the national anthem, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”

Responding to the current controversy, however, the Texans blasted that report as “categorically false and without merit.”

“A recent report that suggests the Houston Texans would not sign a player who has protested in support of social justice issues is categorically false and without merit,” the team said in a statement. “The Texans ownership, coaching, personnel and executive staff sign and hire employees based on talent, character and fit within our organization.”

Written by Madison365 staff