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Respect, Marcus

New Orleans Saints safety Marcus Williams had one of the worst moments an NFL player can have on the field on Sunday. You know it by now.

The Case Keenum pass to Stefon Diggs. The Marcus Williams dive under Stefon Diggs. And the Stefon Diggs sprint to the end zone. And then the ridiculous bile and hate that immediately went to Williams online.

And unlike those losers who went with Twitter hate, Williams was nothing but class when he broke his twitter silence. He tweeted: “I appreciate my friends, real fans, family, and team for everything they have done for me this season all of the support is highly appreciated! No the season didn’t end as planned but one thing for sure I won’t let one play define the type of MAN or PLAYER that I am or will be!”

Respect. In fact, I’m not sure I could respect Williams more for how he’s handled this whole horrible situation. It would’ve been easy to lash out at everyone who gave him crap and everyone who threatened him. And it would’ve been even easier to hide, to slip out the back door of the locker room on Sunday, and never speak about it. But he answered questions. He owned absolutely everything. You could tell how much he hurt after that play. Not just for himself, but how much he hurt for his teammates.

Williams is a rookie who had 73 tackles, 7 passes defensed, and four interceptions in the regular season. And then another 13 tackles and an interception in the playoffs. And that interception took place in the third quarter of Sunday’s game and completely changed the game. New Orleans had just scored to make it 17-7 Minnesota, Williams picks off Keenum’s pass, which set up another touchdown drive for the Saints and suddenly it’s a whole new ball game at 17-14.

If he makes that tackle on the final play, we’re talking about him as a hero, instead of the goat. If he makes that tackle, he’s the guy who changed the game and then saved the game. And then took the Saints to within a game of the Super Bowl. Instead, he’s receiving so much venom and hate from so many losers. The same crowd that were chucking their TV sets out windows and hitting him with hate would’ve been crowning him as their king if he makes that tackle. That’s how it goes. And he knows that.

You hate to see a moment like that happen to anyone, especially a rookie and especially in a situation like that. I don’t know how it will impact his career. Maybe it permanently scars it. Or maybe it’s the kind of thing that he learns from, grows from, and it propels him to even greater heights.

But he’s right when he tweets that he won’t let one play define the type of man that he is or will be. Because how he’s responding to that one play is defining the type of man that he is and that is a grown-ass man. Respect, Marcus. Respect.

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