Houston’s Hopkins expresses support for Kaepernick
HOUSTON (AP) — DeAndre Hopkins says he arrived to Houston’s game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in a No. 7 jersey bearing the hashtag “IMWITHKAP” to support Colin Kaepernick and his protests of social and racial injustice because: “he’s standing up for what’s right.”
Hopkins was photographed entering the stadium in the black jersey with white lettering and posted the photograph on social media before the game with an emoji of a hand making a peace sign and the word “love.”
When asked why he wore the jersey during a news conference after the game, Hopkins would only say it was because “That’s my homie.” But the star receiver later discussed his motivation for the clothing choice to The Associated Press.
Kaepernick created controversy in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem as a way to protest police brutality and social and racial injustice in America. He opted out of his contract after the end of that season and hasn’t been able to get a job in the NFL since. He’s suing the league for collusion.
“I support his movement and everything that he’s doing,” Hopkins told The AP. “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 said he knows a lot of people criticize Kaepernick, but he wouldn’t let that deter him from vocally supporting the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
“There’s going to be negative things said about him, but I just want to let him know that a lot of people support him, not just (me), but my family, other people on this team,” Hopkins said. “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.”
Kaepernick retweeted Hopkins’ tweet of the picture and wrote: “Appreciate love from one of the best ... thank you brother!!!”
Hopkins believes it’s “very unfair” that Kaepernick can’t get another NFL job, and exaggerated the number of quarterbacks he played with in Houston before the Texans drafted Deshaun Watson last year to illustrate his point on the subject.
“He can still play,” Hopkins said. “I know he can still play ... he can win games for an NFL team. I’ve played with dozens of quarterbacks and I can honestly say that I think he belongs in this league.”
Hopkins had seven receptions for 91 yards Sunday as the Texans beat the Cleveland Browns 29-13 to extend their franchise-record winning streak to nine games.