DeAndre Hopkins wears No. 10 jersey for years his cousin spent in prison

Jun 3, 2020, 2:57 PM

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)...

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins changed uniforms but not his jersey number this offseason.

Hopkins will again don the No. 10 in his eighth NFL campaign and first away from the Houston Texans. On Wednesday, as the nation continues to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, the Cardinals WR revealed that there’s significance to his numeral representation — a meaning that has a lot to with societal inequalities in the United States.

“My big cousin from South Carolina did 10 years in jail for $600 worth of drugs,” Hopkins wrote on Twitter, pointing to the disparity in prison time that white and black people face. “Let that sink in. That’s the real reason I wear number 10. Modern Day…”

Hopkins had previously said that his No. 10 jersey was to honor soccer great Lionel Messi, according to ESPN.

His revelation on Wednesday came as athletes, including teammates like Patrick Peterson, spoke out against institutionalized racism and injustices to the black community.

The Cardinals receiver, who grew up in South Carolina, knows firsthand the strain of being black and disadvantaged.

In an ESPN feature published last October, Hopkins and his family shared their story of growing up around drugs and fighting to make a living.

Hopkins lost his father at a young age, and his mother held two jobs to keep the family afloat. Later in life, his mother lost her vision after being attacked by a woman who threw acid on her face. Unable to go back to work, she resorted to taking odd jobs, including selling drugs, to make ends meet.

Now a success story after the family left that life, Hopkins is using his platform to point out one of the many ways racism and inquality can manifest themselves in society.

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