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NFL player honors blind mother with every score after she lost her eyesight in an acid attack

The athlete would seek out his mother in the stands after every touchdown and hand her the football so she could be part of the celebratory moment.

NFL player honors blind mother with every score after she lost her eyesight in an acid attack
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Photo by Aaron J. Thornton for BET(R) Getty Images | Photo by Bob Levey

One NFL player is honoring his mother's strength in one of the most beautiful ways. After every touchdown, DeAndre Hopkins runs to the stands in search of his mother Sabrina Greenlee. He hands her the football to get a feel of it and in this heartwarming way, he makes her a part of his celebrations. This emotional ritual has been taking place for years and although Greenlee cannot see her son's games, she is such an integral part of it. 


Greenlee was blinded in an acid attack in 2002 when a woman threw a mixture of lye and bleach on her after believing her boyfriend was cheating on her with Greenlee, according to USA Today. After the attack, the man whom Greenlee had been dating for a few months, picked her up and dropped her off at a nearby gas station. "He left me there to die," Greenlee said, "All my skin came off of my body. I was lying out there, dying. There was blood all over this woman's store." The woman was charged as she pleaded guilty to assault and battery with intent to kill and was sentenced to 20 years in a South Carolina penitentiary. Greenlee was left to die by her boyfriend and ended up losing her eyesight. 

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A post shared by Sabrina Greenlee (@sabrinagreenlee12)


Hopkins was only 10 years old at the time of the attack and told ESPN that he “was in shock that somebody could look like that” after he saw what the acid had done to his mother’s appearance. They tried to go about their life normally but it wasn't easy. “I knew he wanted me there, but it was really tough,” she said, explaining that she was self-conscious of her injuries at her son's games. But soon she “was able to cope with being blind and the scars and the ridicule." "I think it gave me the courage to eventually find myself," Greenlee said.


Many people were touched by the strong bond between the mother and son. @achaw_bsss wrote on X (formerly Twitter), "The story of DeAndre Hopkins and his mother, Sabrina Greenlee, is a powerful reminder of the enduring love between a parent and child. Their tradition is a testament to the strength of their relationship and the importance of family bonds. It's heartwarming to see such a prominent athlete use his platform to honor and celebrate his mother, who has overcome so much in her life. It's not just about football; it's about love, resilience and the deeper connections that go beyond the game." @_synno added, "This ritual serves as a reminder that, while she can't see her son, he still sees her - and he wants the world to see her too. I love that part so much."


DeAndre praises his mother often and values their relationship a lot. "She's probably one of the funniest people I know," he shared, "She'll definitely make a room brighter." And the feeling is mutual. Greenlee doesn't let her hardships affect her life and neither does her son. "It goes back to when I got the courage up when he was in junior high," she explains, "I remember him saying, 'I just want you to be there.' So if I'm there, and I'm present, and I'm alive... that's ultimately all he wants. He doesn't care that I can't see."


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