ESPN analyst and former NBA player Jay Williams revealed on Friday that he received numerous death threats on social media after defending Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and his stance against COVID-19. Via TMZ Sports:
“Thank God I almost passed away when I was 21 years old,” Jay said. “You know some of the crazy s*** that people say to me on the internet when they disagree with my opinion? Go hit a pole, go die again, aww Duke education.”
“Thank God I went through that experience, 'cause I don't need other people to justify how I think about myself.”
Williams went head to head with Stephen A. Smith on the matter, which eventually got pretty heated. He backed the Nets guard on his personal decision to not get vaccinated.
This whole situation has stolen headlines across the last couple of weeks, especially because the Nets have now made it clear that Irving won't be able to play or practice with the team until he gets at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. His reasoning for not receiving the jab has left many even more confused, claiming he's taking this stance to give a voice to the voiceless. In a nutshell, Kyrie isn't even against the vaccine.
It's going to be very interesting to see what happens with Irving this season as the Nets chase a title, but the fact that Jay Williams was told to kill himself because of his opinion is frankly wrong. Social media needs to be better.