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DeAndre Hopkins Bob McNair Tribute Was 'Very Special' ... Despite Rocky Past

11/27/2018 6:49 AM PST

DeAndre Hopkins Calls Bob McNair Tribute 'Very Special' Despite Rocky Past

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DeAndre Hopkins had nothing but love for late Houston Texans owner Bob McNair on Monday ... despite the fact the two clashed hard after McNair's infamous "inmates run the prison" comment.

Remember, while NFL owners held a meeting to find a way to stop the kneeling protests last year ... McNair was quoted as saying, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison.”

Hopkins was reportedly VERY offended by McNair's comment and sat out a full practice in protest.

But, after torching the Tennessee Titans on "Monday Night Football", DeAndre couldn't have been more respectful when talking about McNair in the locker room. 

In fact, when asked about the team's decision to give the game ball to Bob's son, Cal McNair, DeAndre explained ..."That was very special. Cal and their family deserve it with everything they've done for this city."

"Everything they've been through ... Bob was at practice. Bob was active, and Cal is the same way. So you got to love those guys."

In addition to giving Cal the game ball after the victory ... the Texans honored Bob with helmet decals and a pregame video tribute.

McNair was 81 years old.

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