Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins explained his side of an incident during which he stuck up his middle finger at part of a Phoenix caravan supporting President Donald Trump, saying the dispute was traffic-related and not political.
“Driving on the highway, I guess I got in between a train or a bunch of cars that I wasn’t supposed to be in between in my car,” Hopkins said Tuesday on the All Things Covered podcast with teammate Patrick Peterson and former NFL player Bryant McFadden. “They was honking the horn at me and stuff like that, I guess to tell me to get out of their way. I didn’t, and the guy in front of me stepped on his brakes and tried to stop there in traffic and I got around him and a stuck him a birdie.
“I was really about to do the peace sign to him, but my index finger, this finger right here was kind of hurting so it ain’t make it up in time.”
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People who said they were participating in the caravan posted photos Sunday afternoon of Hopkins driving in his car, sticking up his middle finger at the passengers. In the images, Hopkins is wearing the same shirt he wore when he arrived to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, for the team’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, according to The Arizona Republic.
Tony and April Garcia were driving in the caravan when they noticed a black Ferrari weaving in and out of the line. They said they saw the Ferrari exit the Loop 101 freeway near the stadium and hypothesized that the driver could be a football player.
April Garcia said the driver of the Ferrari was speeding and creating a dangerous driving situation.
“It’s scary when they are coming up fast and swerving into you,” April Garcia said, according to The Arizona Republic. She said that there were more “intolerant” people Sunday throwing water and other objects at the caravan.
Hopkins denied that he was speeding or driving recklessly.
“I was like, ‘Damn, dude, you’re trying to step on your brakes in dead traffic ’cause I’m in your guys’ train or whatnot?’ ” Hopkins said. “I’m just trying to go to work. It wasn’t nothing, throwing nothing at the car or anything like that. No speeding. If I was in a Ferrari speeding, you wouldn’t be able to take a still picture, so that’s all.”
Hopkins has spoken out publicly against the systemic injustices facing Black people in the United States. Hopkins was one of the dozens of players who appeared in a video that was posted on social media accounts over the summer in the wake of the death of George Floyd, seeking racial equality.
Hopkins currently leads the NFL with 57 catches and 704 receiving yards and has also scored three touchdowns.