Texans owner explains why he withdrew donation to anti-HERO group

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- When Texans owner Bob McNair rescinded the $10,000 he donated to opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO,) he did not say he had changed his mind and supported HERO. Instead, in a lengthy statement, McNair talked about how he thinks opponents of the ordinance mischaracterized his donation. That was last Friday.

On Tuesday, Eyewitness News caught up with both Mayor Annise Parker and McNair. It's the first time both have spoken about the issue since the donation was rescinded.

McNair raised a lot of eyebrows when he initially donated to the anti-HERO effort. That's partly because supporters of the ordinance spoke out loud about their concerns that the NFL might consider moving the Super Bowl if Houston doesn't pass the non-discrimination ordinance.

Meanwhile, opponents of HERO seized on McNair's donation as proof the NFL would not consider moving the Super Bowl.

Then last Friday, McNair asked for his money back. On Tuesday, we caught up with Mayor Parker at a ground breaking event for the new Joint Processing Center.

"I'm pleased he aligned himself with the rest of the business community in Houston," said the Mayor, "So it's certainly something that's been on everybody's mind. But I have not had an opportunity to talk to Mr. McNair so I can thank him.

Following those comments, Eyewitness News caught up with the Texans owner at a community luncheon.

"I've issued a statement and I thank the Mayor," said McNair, who did not address the controversy directly. "I thank her very much. She's our guest from time to time at our football games, and we're happy to have her, and happy to have her again."

Both supporters and opponents of the equal rights ordinance have poured lots of money into the campaign. Both sides expect a close race on election night.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.