Before news reports were burying his 91-yard stat line in the bigger story of the Houston Texans winning a franchise record ninth straight contest with their defeat over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, December 2, DeAndre Hopkins was making headlines for donning Colin Kaepernick’s No. 7 on his chest.
The Hill was one of numerous publications to cover Hopkins’ arrival at NRG Stadium in a black #ImWithKap jersey. In putting up a photograph of his entrance shortly after the story got out, the superstar receiver showed that even though on-field protests have dwindled since Kaepernick famously took a knee throughout the 2016 season, there are still those like him who continue to support the cause.
“I support his movement and everything that he’s doing. In my eyes, he’s a legend. In a lot of people’s eyes, he’s a legend. He’s standing up for what’s right,” Hopkins would go on to tell the Associated Press following Houston’s 29-13 victory. “Some people won’t stand up and speak out and say they support him because of what might come behind that. But I know that after this life is done, I stood up for something that’s right, not just for where I’m at right now but for people after me,” he’d say.
Kaepernick would respond with humble thanks in the form of a tweet that read, “Appreciate love from one of the best [DeAndre Hopkins]. Thank you Brother!!!”
✌️ & love pic.twitter.com/9lUGbV0gXI
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) December 2, 2018
For the record, Hopkins’ gesture came just over one week after the Inquisitr reported on Texans owner Bob McNair succumbing to cancer at age 80. While McNair was beloved by many in the sport and around the Texas business community, he’d find himself profiled as a bigot and one of the more hostile critics of Kaepernick’s movement when it was revealed that he had referred to protesters as “inmates running the prison.” It didn’t help that several media outlets followed the statement up by unearthing the fact that he was among the leading contributors to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, just weeks after Trump called Kaepernick a “son of a b***h” and recommended that players who kneel be cut.
Fans will recall Hopkins being among the players to sit out of practice after taking a “personal day” in protest of the remarks. But as ESPN notes, he’d eventually get around to forgiving McNair, calling him “a great guy” who he could “never say anything bad about,” even after the late billionaire went public with a retraction of the apology he had issued months prior.
In fact, the All-Pro wide-out would go on to applaud the organization for honoring McNair after his passing, with TMZ quoting him as saying the McNair family was deserving of such a “very special” tribute given “everything they’ve done” for the city.