Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has opened up about why he appeared to flash a pair of middle fingers at a group of President Trump supporters on a Phoenix-area highway on Sunday.
Hopkins, addressing the incident during an appearance on a podcast on Tuesday, minimized the confrontation as nothing too serious, and told a different version of events from what some participants in the pro-Trump caravan had recounted to media outlets, including the Arizona Republic.
A post from an anonymous Twitter account on Sunday claimed Hopkins was weaving dangerously through the traffic, but on Tuesday Hopkins said on the "All Things Covered" podcast that the cluster of vehicles was in fact making it difficult for him to safely pass.
"On the way to the stadium you made headlines," said host Bryant McFadden, a former Pittsburgh Steelers star. "I guess there was some Trump supporters on the road, and I guess they felt like you were driving fast and flipped them off."
"Driving on the highway, I guess I got caught in between a train -- or a bunch of cars -- that I wasn't supposed to be in between, in my car," Hopkins said. "And you know, they were honking their horns at me and stuff like that, telling me to get out of their way. And I didn't, and the guy in front of me stepped on his brakes, and tried to stop there in the traffic -- and I got around him, and stuck him the birdie."
"I really was about to do the peace sign to him, but this index -- this finger right here was hurting, so it didn't make it up in time," Hopkins joked. "But it's like, 'Alright dude, you want to step on brakes and dead traffic just because I'm in your guys' train or whatnot, just trying to go to work?'
Hopkins, who appeared to have both hands off the wheel while flashing the double-finger salute, said the unpleasant exchange was relatively low-speed and not dangerous.
"So it wasn't nothing thrown out the car or anything like that, no speeding. Obviously no speeding, you see me right there -- if I was in a Ferrari speeding, he wouldn't be able to take a still picture of me."