DeAndre Hopkins Hands Touchdown Ball from Texans vs Colts Game to Mom Sabrina Greenlee Who Was Blinded in Acid Attack

Houston Texans’ receiver DeAndre Hopkins melted hearts when, after making a touchdown at Thursday’s night game, he went straight to find his blind mother in the crowd and gave her the touchdown ball.

Hopkins scored two touchdowns at Texas vs. the Indianapolis Colts game. And instead of breaking into a celebratory dance, or running around the field, DeAndre followed a sweet tradition he has with his mom.

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans looks on before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 08, 2019 | Photo: GettyImages

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans looks on before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 08, 2019 | Photo: GettyImages

THEIR BEAUTIFUL TRADITION

On both occasions, the 27-year-old reached the spot where his mom, Sabrina Greenlee, always sits at Texans’ home games.

And both times, she was already waiting for him to pass the football, which she lifted in the air triumphally.

When it was clear that he was a football rising star, Sabrina stepped out of her comfort zone to attend one of his high school games, but she felt observed and ridiculed as people whispered around her.

The simple gesture has even more significance for the pair because Greenlee can’t see her son playing, as she has been blind for 17 years after being the victim of an acid attack.

“I've not always been your typical role-model mother, and he still respects me enough to let everybody see him give me that ball," Greenlee told ESPN. "That ball symbolizes so much more than people ever could understand."

DeAndre, on the other hand, says he’s always picturing his mother’s excited face whenever he makes a catch. And if he fails, he feels terrible for letting her down.

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans hand the ball to his mother, Sabrina Greenlee after a touchdown in the second quarter over the Indianapolis Colts on November 21, 2019 | Photo: GettyImages

DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans hand the ball to his mother, Sabrina Greenlee after a touchdown in the second quarter over the Indianapolis Colts on November 21, 2019 | Photo: GettyImages

THE ACID ATTACK

Greenlee lost her vision when a strange woman three acid—a mix of bleach and lye—all over her face in 2002, disfiguring her and blinding her forever.

That morning, Greenlee had woken up to find that her car was gone, and she assumed a man she had been dating had taken it without her permission.

When she arrived at the address the man gave her to retrieve the vehicle, an unknown woman, probably one of his other girlfriend, came out of the house with a bucket and threw liquid in her face.

She recalled:

“And as I'm lying there, the first thing I'm thinking is, 'Why would someone pour warm water on my face?' But a couple of seconds later, I realized it wasn't warm water, because my skin is literally falling off my face, my neck, my chest, and my back."

The man picked her up and drove to a nearby gas station, where staff helped pour water over her face. But before long, the man was gone, and Greenlee wondered if she had been left to die.

Soon after, she was airlifted to a burn center in Augusta, Georgia, where she spent weeks in a medically induced coma.

PROUD MOM, PROUD SON

DeAndre was just 10 when the attack took place, and it took him a while to get used to his mom’s new face after reconstructive surgery.

When it was clear that he was a football rising star, Sabrina stepped out of her comfort zone to attend one of his high school games, but she felt observed and ridiculed as people whispered around her.

It took her a while to gather her courage and step out for another one of DeAndre’s games.

But since she realized that her son doesn’t care if she can’t see, and only wants her presence there, she started to gain more confidence and now stands proud at every game while her other kids narrate the gameplay.

She also created a nonprofit called SMOOOTH (Speaking Mentally, Outwardly Opening Opportunities Toward Healing), which helps women who had been victims of domestic violence.

DeAndre and Sabrina feel mutual pride for the other, and he says their relationship is more of a friendship than a mother-son relationship.

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