Detroit Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams is already slated to miss the first six games of the 2023 NFL season following a suspension for gambling. After an injury-riddled and frustrating start to his career, the Heisman Trophy winner has never really blasted off in The Motor City, and now, he’s being lit up for some of his ill-advised Fourth of July fun.
Texter passed it along… Jameson Williams last night at 1:15 shooting off Fireworks
I get it, Merica and Freedom but I’d leave the explosives to the professionals, especially if you make your money with your hands pic.twitter.com/eI3MvsN5nB
— Jim Costa (@JimCosta_) July 5, 2023
While some of Williams’ bad breaks have certainly been brought upon himself, there’s also been a lot of extra helpings of criticism heaped on top. When you come into the NFL highly-touted and recognized as college football’s most honored player, results are expected. And unfortunately for both Jameson Williams and the Lions, there hasn’t been much return on investment yet.
So, when the electric wideout posted a video of himself lighting some pretty massive explosives to commemorate the Fourth of July, it gained the attention of Detroit sportscaster Jim Costa. In an Instagram video, Jameson Williams is igniting a huge box of blow-’em-ups labeled ‘Printer Malfunction’. Costa would later share the clip and add his own response:
“Texter passed it along…” he wrote. “Jameson Williams last night at 1:15 shooting off Fireworks I get it, Merica and Freedom but I’d leave the explosives to the professionals, especially if you make your money with your hands.”
Many people in and around The League acknowledged that Costa had a valid point. Even many NFL contracts have provisions written into them prohibiting particular players from engaging in dangerous, physical activities. In the past, stars have had to give up motorcycle riding, water sports, hang gliding, and downhill skiing as part of their offseason leisure, for fear of the risk of major injury.
So by all intents and measures, Costa was correct in his assessment. Unfortunately for the 97.1 The Ticket host, Lions fans didn’t take too kindly with the judgment he passed down on Jameson Williams.
The city has been starving for decades for a serious football contender, and they have dug in their heels now that they think they’ve finally got one. So they have a huge stake in Williams’ potential success.
I am bullish on Jameson Williams for 2023. After tearing his ACL he didn't get to work much in the summer and played VERY limited snaps
I watched every target of his from 2022 – he had drop issues on short passes. Think he can clean that up with more reps. But the explosiveness! pic.twitter.com/aUNhcODbBq
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) July 7, 2023
So, without much hesitation, Lions fans were quick to roar back in the 22-year-old’s defense. They chastised not only Costa, but other members of the Detroit media who they claim are trying to run the former Alabama star out of town.
So, there have been two sides to the argument. One, who says that Williams is a young guy lighting off fireworks like every other American does on the same holiday. But the hardline thought on the flip side is that he could have seriously jeopardized his career if something had gone wrong.
Have Lions fans ever heard of Jason Pierre-Paul? Missing fingers might not hurt a D-End so much, but a receiver? Definitely.
And while the argument is a serious one that involves just how much personal time a professional athlete actually has, that didn’t stop NFL fans from Michigan to Miami from making funny replies and videos as an ‘answer’ to this quandary.
While the Detroit Lions have not made any statement, it doesn’t appear there will be any punishment handed down by the team. Nor has it been reported that Williams’ contract has any clause regarding fireworks (which it likely doesn’t.) However, in the future, he will likely be more mindful about posting any more videos of him showing too much of his ‘independence’ ever again.
That way? Some random media member can’t just come along and blow it all out of proportion.