Damien Williams’ mom’s cancer diagnosis led to decision to opt out

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Chiefs running back Damien Williams says he decided to opt out of the 2020 NFL season after his mom was diagnosed with cancer.

“I’m dealing with a family matter, my mom was just diagnosed with cancer and it’s Stage 4, so that was my decision,” Williams said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “With everything that’s going on, she was the only one there for me. I never had the opportunity to have my dad there. My mom is my rock, my everything, so during a hard time like this, I think I should be next to her every step.”

Williams said the decision wasn’t easy, but it was the right decision for him to put his full attention on his own health and his mom’s health during the pandemic.

“It was hard, I sat down and talked to everybody in my circle, my family and everybody close to me,” Williams said. “My mom was just like, whatever’s your decision, I’m behind you. It was hard. Football is my life and coming off a championship and wanting a repeat — and I know they’re going to handle that — but at the end of the day, it was something personal I had to handle.”

Players who opt out of the season receive an advance on their salaries and then will play the 2021 season under the terms of their contracts for 2020. For Williams, that means he’ll make $1.85 million in 2021, minus the amount of his 2020 stipend, and will then hit free agency in 2022.

26 responses to “Damien Williams’ mom’s cancer diagnosis led to decision to opt out

  1. The right choice no doubt. I wish Damien’s mom and family well.

  2. Before people judge him you have to put yourself in his shoes. I lost my Mom to cancer last year and we took every precaution possible during her chemo to not bring germs around her. Thoughts and prayers to Damien’s family.

  3. Not a Chiefs fan, but am a big fan of people who put their parents above their fame and money! Hope she gets better!

  4. PFT Nation sends love, support, and prayers to Damien and his mom. Damien’s Super Bowl title was an amazing accomplishment. But now his Mom is going into even bigger battle. Damien knows what is important in life — a true indication that this outstanding young man has an incredible mom behind him, a mom who imparted lessons and values.

  5. Stage 4 cancer is usually terminal. He is going to be there for his mom until the end. Good for you Damien, she raised a good son.

  6. All the best DW for your family. You will always be a special part of the Miami Dolphin family. So proud you made it to the big time but even prouder your looking out for your mom. I’ll pray for your mom.

  7. I never had the opportunity to have my dad there. My mom is my rock, my everything, so during a hard time like this, I think I should be next to her every step.
    It’s sad that so many young men say this and it is a real problem in the AA community.

    Hope everything turns out well for this young man and his mom. Tough spot.

  8. These are all great posts. Amazes me that there are thumbs down on wishing him and his mother well. I there no bottom?

  9. Yeah, I hope his mom is OK and that Williams will be able to come back in 2021.

  10. I wish him the best and his mom to. Boy you can’t deny though he is taking a huge risk himself to by sitting a year. He is 29 and isn’t a featured back. He may find that when he returns there may not be many teams lining up to get him.

  11. I completely get it. My mom passed away from breast cancer when I was 13, and it completely changes your life just knowing they have it. Help her through this, no matter the outcome man.

  12. I lost my Mom to cancer 41 years ago; the loss is always there.
    He’s definitely making the right choice. He will never regret it.

  13. tb12greatest says:
    July 31, 2020 at 10:53 am
    Shame on all the Chiefs fans for criticizing him…
    Ignorant people have been critical of every player that has opted out so far. That’s not defensible. Neither is you using this thread to troll Chiefs fans. Shame on us??? No, shame on you.

  14. those of us who have lost our moms know this is the right decision.
    new respect for Mr Williams from this house

  15. Yesterday many people slammed Damian for not playing utterly ignorant of why. Hopefully they have learned a lesson but I doubt it. I wish his mother the best and hope Damian comes back better than ever. So far my team has had 6 players opt out yet we will still win the AFC East.

  16. God bless him and his mom. Hope his mom beats cancer and he’s back on the field next season.

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