McNair told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn't think he did anything wrong and regrets being pressured into issuing an apology for the quote that sparked a firestorm in the NFL last season.
"The main thing I regret is apologizing," the 80-year-old McNair told the newspaper in a story that was published Thursday.
McNair insisted to the Wall Street Journal that the "inmates" he referenced during league meetings on Oct. 18 were not NFL players, but rather league executives who he felt had more control over significant decisions than the owners. It also came as the NFL struggled with its response to players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.
"I really didn't have anything to apologize for," McNair said. "... In business, it's a common expression. But the general public doesn't understand it, perhaps."
During his interview, McNair dismissed talk that he would keep the Texans from acquiring players who kneeled for the national anthem. He did contend, however, that politics should be kept away from the football field.
McNair offered the following statement in October after making his initial comment:
"I was not referring to our players when I made a very regretful comment during the owners meetings last week," McNair's statement read. "I was referring to the relationship between the league office and team owners and how they have been making significant strategic decisions affecting our league without adequate input from ownership over the past few years.
"I am truly sorry to the players for how this has impacted them and the perception that it has created of me which could not be further from the truth. Our focus going forward, personally and as an organization, will be towards making meaningful progress regarding the social issues that mean so much to our players and our community."