NFL's culture is broken: Houston Texans owner

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Houston Texans owner Robert McNair told CNBC on Wednesday that the National Football League's culture is broken, following the fallout from separate allegations of domestic violence and child abuse by two high-profile players.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has faced criticism and calls for his resignation for the league's response to the two cases, but McNair said on " Squawk Box " that he stands 100 percent behind Goodell in his capacity to run the league.

The NFL's issues are a microcosm of society, McNair said, although he added that players are roll models, whether they want to be or not.

His comments came after the Minnesota Vikings reversed course and announced early Wednesday that Adrian Peterson has been barred indefinitely from all team activities as the running back faces charges of hitting his 4-year-old son with a stick as a form of discipline. The Vikings are now addressing the Peterson situation properly, McNair told CNBC.

Teams need to take individual responsibility for these issues, but are limited in how much discipline they can exert on the players, he added.The Vikings had initially said Peterson could play while the legal process played out.

The new Vikings decision came after the Radisson hotel chain suspended its sponsorship with the Vikings. Papa John's pizza was considered doing the same. Meanwhile, Castrol Motor Oil, Special Olympics Minnesota, and Mylan all severed ties with Peterson, and Twin Cities Nike stores pulled Peterson's jerseys from its shelves.

In the other case, the NFL players union on Tuesday night appealed the indefinite suspension imposed on Ray Rice by the league earlier this month. The Baltimore Ravens released the running back on Sept. 8 after video emerged of him punching his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino elevator in February. Rice had originally been given a two-game suspension in July under the NFL's personal conduct policy.

The NFL needs to say it's not going to tolerate domestic violence, McNair told CNBC. And going forward, he said teams can refuse to draft players who were involved in legal issues.

 

Sponsors including Anheuser-Busch, the second largest in the NFL, are expressing concern about the league's response to Rice and Peterson cases.

"We are not yet satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league," the NFL's official beer sponsor said in a statement.

Read More Anheuser-Busch lashes out at NFL over incidents

Other companies such as FedEx, General Motors, Marriott and PepsiCo have all released statements saying they're monitoring the situation.

In response, the NFL said, "We understand. We are taking action and there will be much more to come."

Meanwhile, Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, introduced legislation Tuesday to close a decades-old tax loophole used by professional sporting leagues, including the NFL. Under current law, individual sports teams pay taxes but the dues each team pays to support the front offices of the leagues are not taxed.

-By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. The Associated Press contributed to this report.