Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins explains why he almost sat out a game after Bob McNair’s ‘inmates running the prison’ comment
The Houston Texans were part of a pretty big controversy back in 2017 when owner Bob McNair made comments regarding protests.
The comment was pretty simple “we can’t have inmates running the prison,” and you could absolutely see how it would upset someone. What made it worse was that less than a year after his apology, McNair stated he regretted apologizing.
The initial comments were met with backlash, and there were talks of players protesting. That protest was going to come in the form of sitting out a game, and Hopkins almost partook. In an interview with Cam Wolf of GQ, Hopkins explained why.
What was your reaction to Bob McNair’s comments about the inmates running the prison?
“I’ll take my ass home. I went home. I ain’t going to practice today. Hell no. I was about to not play in the game.”
You were about to sit out the game?
“Hell yeah, I was about to sit out the game. But I definitely wasn’t going to practice. A couple of my teammates about to follow me, but they called them back up to the stadium. They tried calling me, but I wasn’t going back. Hell no.
“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. Not even too long ago, people couldn’t even drink out of the same water faucet. Not even 100 years ago.”
Hopkins was ready to sit out but didn’t want to do that to his teammates. That’s extremely admirable because anyone with eyes can see where he was coming from. As Hopkins said, it’s impossible to know exactly where he’s coming from if your family wasn’t slaves, if you were never segregated or if you weren’t in his shoes.
With that in mind, don’t judge his thought process. He wanted to stand up for something, and that’s incredible. Even better, he was going to do so in a peaceful way. Hopkins decided against it because he didn’t want to let the rest of his team down.
What’s incredible about the interview is that Hopkins celebrates the Texans former owner. He talks about it as if it was just a mistake and tries to paint McNair in as positive a light as possible. That’s a level of maturity; a lot of people in today’s world wouldn’t reach.
Protesting in the NFL has divided a lot of people. Anyone should be able to respect where Hopkins was coming from, how he went about his business, and how he ultimately decided what to do. The Texans clearly have a superstar on the field and a leader off it.