The Houston Texans had a mixed response to their owner's comment comparing kneeling players to prison inmates ... but the majority took a knee.

About 25 Texans players knelt during the National Anthem ahead of Sunday's game against the Seahawks -- which looked kinda awkward since some other players chose to stand.

The kneeling appears to be a direct response to Bob McNair's comment last week when he said "You can't have the inmates running the prison" in reference to players who kneel in protest.