Houston Texans chairman Cal McNair apologized Tuesday for insensitive remarks he made while at a charity golf event earlier this year.
McNair was addressing a crowd at the Houston Texans Foundation Charity Golf Classic at River Oaks Country Club in Houston when witnesses said he used the phrase “China virus” when describing the coronavirus, Bally Sports reported Tuesday.
“I’m sorry that we couldn’t get together last year, because of the China virus,” McNair reportedly told the crowd, which resulted in some gasps.
One witness told the network Cal and his wife, Hannah, “seemed to think it was hilarious.”
McNair this week called his May remarks “inappropriate” and apologized in a statement to Bally Sports.
“My comments at the event last May included an inappropriate choice of words. 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,” McNair said.
The verbiage of what to call coronavirus or COVID-19 at the onset of the pandemic last year was a hot topic. A 2021 study in the American Journal of Public Health surveyed Twitter and found that 50% of the tweets using “#ChinaVirus” contained some kind of anti-Asian sentiment.