DeAndre Hopkins usually lets his big plays on the football field do all the talking for him. Last week, the Texans Pro Bowl wide receiver opened up about a personal experience in a way he has never done before.
Standing before a large assembly of students at Wisdom High School, Hopkins spoke about the lasting effects of domestic abuse.
"I'm 24 years old," Hopkins said. "I've been playing sports since I was eight years old. At the age of 12, my mother was physically assaulted and left for blind, left for dead."
Hopkins went on to recount the story about the arguments he recalled between his mother and her boyfriend. His mother became the victim of a horrific attack, where another woman dating the same man threw acid on her face. The woman received 20 years in jail as punishment and Hopkins' mother, despite , extensive skin grafts and treatment, sustained permanent damage.
"It left her blind in both eyes," Hopkins said. "So, since the age of 12, my mother has never seen me play a football game or a basketball game. Domestic violence is something that's deeper than just the word domestic violence to some."
Hopkins emphasized the importance of not only recognizing signs of abuse, whether physical or verbal, but for students to report any behavior that seemed out of the ordinary. By sharing his experience, he hoped others would see the long-term impact of domestic abuse.
"It's an ongoing battle, but we've overcome it and we still have got a lot to do in life," Hopkins said. "All of you all in here, it might not hit you. It might not be your family that's in a domestic violence relationship. It might be the next-door neighbors that you hear arguing everyday. I know you all are young and you all like to go by the rule, 'No snitching' but it's really not about that. It's deeper than that. It's about somebody being affected long-term."
Hopkins spoke to the students on behalf of AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse), a Houston-area organization that provides free legal aid and counseling to victims of abuse. His partnership with AVDA began last year, when Hopkins pledged $1,000 for each touchdown he scored in October, which was Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
WR DeAndre Hopkins--from Clemson to the Texans--is featured here in photos.