Written by: Nick Mingay
SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams received death threats from disgruntled fans this week after his two muffed punts cost the team a win and trip to the Super Bowl.
After the game, many came out in support of Williams, but others used social media sites to send threats of all kinds at the second year receiver.
“I hope you, your wife, kids and family die, you deserve it,” one tweet said on Williams Twitter account.
Williams got near a rolling punt during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. The ball hit his knee and was recovered by the Giants near the 49ers red zone. The second punt was in overtime, Williams fielded it but proceeded to fumble. It was recovered by the Giants Devin Thomas and from there it was an easy field goal for the Giants.
The 49er family was crushed by the loss, but they stood by Williams after his turbulent end to the NFC Championship game.
“There’s some comfort when your teammates come and give you a pat on the back and say we win and lose as a team,” Williams said on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday.
Williams was shocked by the threats made on his life. He spoke about an imaginary line between players and fans in professional sports, some people cross the line and don’t even think twice about it.
“People just write blindly and I guess that’s to be expected with how open Twitter is,” Williams said on ESPN Radio’s “Hill & Schlereth” on Monday.
Williams did receive some uplifting support from a seven-year-old boy from Los Angeles. The boy, Owen Shure, after being heartbroken by the 49ers loss was asked how he thought Williams felt after his missteps lead to the loss. Shure proceeded to write a letter to his favorite perturbed athlete. The letter told Williams to be proud of the season he had and that Shure would always be his number one fan. This was a welcome sight to Williams after all the negative feedback he had received from fans.
The death threats Williams received are part of the game though. No one understands this more than his father, Kenny Williams, the General Manager of the Chicago White Sox. He has received threats on many occasions for his sometimes questionable trades and free agent signings.
“I’m used to the years of criticism and threats on my life from time to time, but I have to hear about threats on your son’s life while you’re watching TV and it certainly makes you question the culture of sports as it stands,” Kenny Williams told ESPN Chicago.
As for Kyle Williams, all he can do is seek solace in the off-season and come back next year to win back 49er fans that have left him for dead.