ESPN’s Jay Williams received death wishes after defending Kyrie Irving
Jay Williams and Stephen A. Smith got into a heated debate this week over Kyrie Irving’s decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine, and Williams says people have wished death upon him over the stance he took.
During Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s “First Take,” Smith was critical of Irving for leaving the Brooklyn Nets hanging by choosing not to get vaccinated. Williams, who said he is pro-vaccine, defended Irving’s right to make a personal decision and do what he feels is right for him and his family. You can see the argument below:
Stephen A. Smith & Jay Williams going at it this morning…
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) October 13, 2021
Williams posted an emotional video on Instagram this week in which he revealed that people have told him he doesn’t deserve to live because of his take on Irving.
“You know the crazy s— people say to me on the internet when they disagree with my opinion? … ‘Go hit a pole. Go die again. Duke’s education…’ All this stuff,” Williams said. “Thank god I went through that experience, because I don’t need other people to justify how I think about myself.”
Williams, of course, was a star at Duke and taken with the second overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2002 NBA Draft. He suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle crash in 2003 that ultimately cost him his playing career.
Williams also doubled down on his defense of Irving.
“Kyrie Irving doesn’t owe you anything. He doesn’t owe you a response on your timeline. He doesn’t owe you answers that you feel like you need,” Williams said. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, the NBA season starts in five days.’ Who gives a damn.”
Here’s the full video from Williams:
Almost everyone has an opinion on the Irving situation. There has been speculation that Irving could retire, and the star point guard responded to that this week. Irving has given no indication that he will change his vaccine stance. If he does not, he likely won’t play at all this season.