DeAndre Hopkins has opened up about having to step up as a teenager after his mom, Sabrina Greenlee, was the victim of a violent attack.

Her story will be told in the fifth episode of HBO‘s Hard Knocks In Season: The Arizona Cardinals. The 30-year-old Arizona Cardinals wide receiver has spoken about the significance of every catch he makes as Greenlee details how she survived a domestic violence attack 20 years ago.

Hopkins has reflected on the effect it had on his life as well as his mom’s. Hopkins said that he wanted his mom to tell her story as it explains why he is so driven to be a success in the NFL.

DeAndre Hopkins said that he had to step up as a teenager after an acid attack. Here he is with the Arizona Cardinals looking towards the sideline against the New England Patriots during the second half at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022.
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In the TV documentary series, Hopkins said: “I think we had to be vulnerable in that moment to help somebody else. Some people still don’t know [how] I feel like.”

Greenlee spoke about the incident that changed her life when she was 30 and a mother of four children.

She was blinded in an acid attack, which left her in a coma and meant that Hopkins felt he had to step up in the family to help his mother as she recovered from the shocking attack.

In a clip posted on TikTok by the NFL, Greenlee detailed what happened.

She said: “July 20, 2002. I was assaulted by a young lady, a female. Unbeknownst to me, she was the girlfriend of a guy I have been dealing with.

“And she pours a concoction of liquid Red Devil Lye mixed with Clorox. She calls my name and she dashes this on me.”

Greenlee added: “I come out of the coma, but I come out of the coma totally blind.”

Hopkins then revealed: “So I’m like, shoot, I gotta be a man now.

“In high school—I realize it more so now—that it was harder for her to come to the games. I’m trying to make every catch so my momma can hear my name as much as possible.”

Greenlee shared her thoughts about Hopkins’ career, which saw him drafted to the Houston Texans before he moved to the Cardinals. She said: “That ball—it signifies love. It signifies strength.”

DeAndre Hopkins
DeAndre Hopkins hands the ball to his mom while celebrating scoring a touchdown for the Houston Texans, a tradition he started after being drafted into the NFL in 2013.
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After the attack, Hopkins said that he stepped up his desire to become a pro footballer. After leaving high school, he played college ball at Clemson.

In his junior season, Hopkins posted impressive numbers, recording 82 receptions for 1,405 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in 13 games.

In the 2013 NFL draft, Hopkins was selected 27th overall by the Houston Texans for whom he became a multiple Pro Bowl starter as he became a dominant offensive player.

He is a three-time All-Pro wide receiver. After scoring a touchdown, he would seek out his mother in the stands and hand her the football so that she could share the moment and feel the presence of her son in the celebrations.

Sabrina Greenlee
DeAndre Hopkins’ mom, Sabrina Greenlee, has detailed the acid attack on her when she was 30, in 2002. Here she is attending the 2019 ESPY Awards at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019, in Los Angeles.
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Since the attack in 2002, Greenlee has founded an organization to help fellow survivors of domestic violence.

In 2013, she founded a non-profit organization called S.M.O.O.O.T.H. Inc. which was set up to empower women affected by violence.

It connects them with community resources and provides both emotional and financial assistance.

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