Culture / Sporting Life

Torn Apart by a Trade, Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins Continue to be Linked by Coronavirus Giving

Two Good Guys Making a Difference

BY // 03.30.20

The best quarterback and wide receiver combo in Houston Texans’ history has been torn apart by Bill O’Brien’s whims and hard-to-rationalize plans. But Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins will be forever linked.

Now, in this time of coronavirus pandemic, they’re tied together by giving.

Hopkins made a $150,000 donation to the coronavirus relief fund in his new playing state of Arizona just a day after Watson partnered with Sticky’s Chicken to donate meals for 400 emergency care nurses at Houston’s Ben Taub Hospital and also donated to the Restaurant Workers Relief Program. You could say Hopkins is still following the lead of his forever quarterback.

Long before Watson found himself tweeting out not-so-cryptic Drake lyrics about iconic duos being ripped apart, the Texans’ franchise lifeline established himself as one of the more generous athletes in Houston. He donated his entire first NFL paycheck to three workers in the Texans’ cafeteria who lost their homes in Hurricane Harvey — and hasn’t stopped giving since.

Watson’s latest donations to Houston nurses and restaurant workers — two of the groups most directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic — shows his understanding goes far beyond reading defenses. And scaring Bill Belichick.

The quarterback’s donation to the Restaurant Workers Relief Program, a grassroots relief center at Riel restaurant formed in partnership with The LEE initiative and Maker’s Mark, will provide hundreds of meals for furloughed workers in the coronavirus devastated food industry.

“Every dollar counts, and we’re extremely grateful for Deshaun’s donation,” Riel chef/owner Ryan Lachaine says. “We could all use something to smile about right now. He’s putting food on the table for a lot of people in Houston who need it.”

Watson put touchdowns on the table for DeAndre Hopkins — and their bond will clearly outlast their forced separation.

“I had to shed a tear when they told me I wasn’t going to play with my boy no more,” Hopkins said in an Instagram live session with fans post trade — the coronavirus version of a press conference. “It’s love now.”

Hopkins was not done heaping praise on Watson either. The NFL’s best receiver may be moving on to show off his talents in a Kliff Kingsbury offense, but he’ll still give Watson plenty of credit.

“Deshaun is great. He is great,” Hopkins said. “Any wide receiver would miss playing with Deshaun Watson.”

Parting is such a sorrow — even when it’s not close to sweet. Texans fans have plenty of reasons to lament the breakup of this duo. But at least they know both of them are good guys, who are still doing their part in the community.

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