Kyle Williams Receives Death Threats After Loss

Kyle Williams after fumble.

Abject desperation ravages 49ers Williams after fumble.

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.

Dez Bryant: The Rising Star of Dallas Cowboys. Really?

Perhaps the most media publicized player in this NFL season’s draft pick, Dez Bryant will be thrown at by Tony Romo for the first time when Dallas Cowboys start the organized team activities next week and we will get first hand glimpse of his salt and see if he is worth all the gush and hoopla that surrounds him.

All eyes on Dez Bryant: Will he live up to our expectations?

This rookie receiver has been in the middle of controversies ever since the beginning. First in his draft interviews, he was asked by Miami Dolphins general manager if his mother was a prostitute, which was obviously viewed offensive and objectionable by many of the football lovers. It’s interesting that Dez Bryant was then picked up 24th overall in the first round by Dallas Cowboys, four spots before the Miami Dolphins at no.28., gathering many superlatives from his team and considered the savior for Dallas Cowboys, especially when it boils down to creating an indispensible offence for Cowboys. Contradictions start soon after though, when in the mini camp we heard whispers on his fitness level, extended sleep hours and a twisted ankle that made it all questionable. Then recently, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s openly talked in his interview on Sirius Radio about his doubts on Bryant‘s transition into the league.

Only the upcoming NFL season can tell how this most promising rookie performs in front of all the veterans, until which speculations abound.

Homosexuality: The Blind Side of Football?

A question on sexual orientation in a recent pre-draft interview by an NFL official raised many eyebrows and a debate over reforming the list of pre-draft questions itself.

The hidden Gay football players

Cincinnati Bengal’s official asked his prospective draft pick Geno Atkins in the interview if he was straight or gay. Though Federal law (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) protects job applicants from answering pre-employment questions that are designed or used to discriminate on the basis of race, national origin and certain other protected categories. It’s interesting to know that sexual orientation is not one amongst them.

Even as we hear rumors and innuendos on many players’ homosexuality once in a while, it’s almost zero to none that we see them coming out publicly. Few in NFL’s history like Esera Tuaolo, David Kopay, Roy Simmons who did eventually come out of the closet couldn’t do that until they stopped playing for their respective teams.

The machismo associated with the game and the built and skills of the professional players doesn’t really bring out the stereotype gay in our minds and hence making it harder for the fans to accept them, let alone their own fear of assaults and insults by their fellow team players and fans alike.

Until we have a more open minded society, their true identities will remain hidden under the shadow of their incredible careers.

Ryan Leaf Case a Reminder for Caution on NFL Draft Day

Ryan Leaf, once hoped to be the key to turning around the struggling the San Diego Chargers football franchise, is considered by many today to be the biggest bust in the history of the NFL Draft.

On April 14, former NFL quarterback and second overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, Ryan Leaf was fined $20,000 and sentenced to 10 years probation for eight felony drug charges by an Amarillo, Texas judge—including seven counts of “obtaining a controlled substance” through fraudulent means and one count of “delivery of a controlled substance”—according to the Associated Press.

The drug charges—stemming from allegations that Ryan Leaf presented a number of physicians with an “incomplete medical history” in order to obtain prescription painkillers and, on at least one occasion, attempted to buy a painkiller from a member of the West Texas A&M NCAA football team before resigning as an assistant coach for the team in 2008—are only the latest part of a long and very humbling downfall for Leaf since being selected second overall in the NFL Draft of 1998.

In the 1998 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers—teams both in need of a franchise quarterback at the time—held the first and second overall picks respectively, with both Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf considered the top prospects.  Whether Leaf or Manning was to be selected as the top overall draft pick was then the subject of debate for months leading up to the Draft, however, Leaf is now considered by many to be not only the biggest Draft bust in professional football, but in all of professional sports.  The story of Ryan Leaf, whose lack of maturity and composure early on in his brief NFL career proved to be his undoing, is one for NFL owners and general managers to remember with caution when scouting new prospects—especially with NFL Draft being just around the corner.