DeAndre Hopkins said in an interview with GQ that his initial plan was to skip a game with the Houston Texans after late owner Bob McNair's "inmates running the prison" remarks in 2017.
"I really didn't want to play in that game, dog," Hopkins said. "I was like, '[Expletive], this is bigger than a game, man.' I’ve got to stand for something [for my 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 he 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."
Hopkins skipped practice after the remarks, which McNair made during a meeting of owners and players after President Donald Trump’s criticism of players who knelt during the national anthem.
While Hopkins didn't want to play for McNair's team in that next game at Seattle, he said he chose to for his teammates.
"I play for them," he said. "I don't play for nobody else but my teammates and my family. That's it.
"And then when we kneeled in Seattle, you know what they did? They didn’t even boo, bro. I was like, 'Damn, I love Seattle. They understand what we go through.'"