At least one player thinks President Donald Trump’s offer to listen to NFL players for advice on pardons wasn’t a sincere one.
Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins told TMZ that he didn’t buy it.
“I think Trump is more closed-minded and he thinks the reason that we’re kneeling is because of the flag,” Hopkins said, via the Houston Chronicle. “When that’s like not at all the reason we’re kneeling.”
Hopkins was among the Texans players who took a knee during the anthem before the Oct. 29 game, after owner Bob McNair’s “inmates running the prison” line from a meeting with other NFL owners. Hopkins said he still expects some players to take a knee next year.
“I kneeled last year and one of my best friends is a Purple Heart veteran and my uncle is a Purple Heart veteran and they understand that it’s not about the flag,” Hopkins said. “But, when a general person like that makes it look like, ‘All right, they’re doing this because of the flag.’ Then of course his followers are going to think the same. But, that’s not the case at all, you know?”
Of course, the reality is that Trump will continue to use the NFL as a punching bag, after NFL owners tried to appease him with a new anthem policy. Players who are on the field are now required to stand, though they have the option to remain in the locker room.