5:56 AM PT -- Deshaun Watson is joining the anti-Calhoun movement.
"Clemson University should not honor slave owner John C. Calhoun in any way," the Houston Texans QB said.
Watson played for Clemson from 2014 to 2016.
"His name should be removed from all University property and programming. I am joining the students, faculty & DeAndre to restart this petition to rename the Calhoun Honors College."
DeAndre Hopkins is putting serious pressure on his alma mater -- demanding Clemson remove the name of an infamous pro-slavery politician from its honors college ... RIGHT NOW!!!
The NFL star -- who played at Clemson from 2010 to 2012 -- says it's always made him sick to his stomach that his University still honors John C. Calhoun.
FYI, Calhoun was the Vice President of the United States from 1825 to 1832 under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson ... and STRONGLY advocated for slavery.
In fact, Calhoun often described slavery as a "positive good" that helped improve the black race.
Clemson University was built on Calhoun's Fort Hill Plantation -- where the University says he had 70 to 80 slaves.
Well, Hopkins is no fan ... and has joined a movement to wipe Calhoun's name from existence at Clemson.
"Clemson University still honors the name of well known slave owner and pro-slavery politician John C. Calhoun on its buildings, signs, and in the name of its honors program," Hopkins says.
"I felt this oppressive figure during my time at Clemson and purposely do not mention the University’s name before NFL games because of it."
Hopkins is directing people to sign a petition to rename the Calhoun Honors College.
"I urge all Clemson students, football players, and alumni to join us, so the next generation of young Black leaders can be proud of the institution they graduate from."
Clemson’s Honors College was founded in 1962 -- but according to the people behind the petition, Calhoun’s name was not added until 1981.
"To change the name of the college, therefore, is not to 'erase history;' rather, it is to acknowledge that our understanding of history has evolved."
"We demand a more just Clemson. Change the name. Do it now."
Originally published -- 3:13 PM PT