By Prince Hakeem
Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is one of the cover stories for the September stories for GQ magazine. In it he discussed the comments late team owner Bob McNair made back in 2017.
McNair stated that the NFL shouldn’t give into the controversial activism many players were partaking in. He compared players who kneeled for the national anthem as “inmates running the prison”. This sparked anger and resentment among the Texans players. DeAndre Hopkins was so offended by the comment that he left the facility and sat out from practice that days. He even seriously contemplated sitting of that week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
In the GQ issue he talked about the how the racial dynamics of a league that’s 70 percent African American played a major role in the ire felt by so many within the organization.
“It’s hard for people to understand what that means, when your family was slaves. You can’t relate to something like that if your great-uncle’s not telling you stories about their parents or their grandparents and what they went through,” Hopkins said in the GQ story. “Not even too long ago, people couldn’t even drink out of the same water faucet. Not even 100 years ago.”
Hopkins said thats the comments made him feel like a slave again.
“People don’t understand,” Hopkins said. “I’m from South Carolina. I’m from a real cultured state, where there’s still racism daily. Still, places are segregated. I really didn’t want to play in that game, dog,” he said. “I was like, ‘[Expletive], this is bigger than a game, man.’ I’ve got to stand for something [to set an example for his children]. If their daddy don’t stand up, then what the hell am I going to tell them?
“It feels like I’m a slave again. Getting ran over. Listen to the master, go to work. But I took into consideration that [McNair] was older — RIP, his soul. He was a good man, but some people they don’t really … When you grow up certain places, you talk a certain way.”
While McNair did pass away last year at the age 81, that does not absolve him of the racially insensitive comments he made. It’