A viral clip of University of Southern California standout quarterback Caleb Williams has sparked a debate over whether his emotional response to a tough loss was the appropriate response.
To wit, Williams, last year’s Heisman trophy winner, was seen visibly distraught and crying with his family after a tough 52-42 home loss to the 5th-ranked Washington Huskies.
Williams, who played fine in the game, saw his team lose for the third time in the last four games and seemed downright fed up with it after Saturday’s game.
ESPN college football analyst and former NFL star Robert Griffin III took to X to share a video of the tender moment, calling it something that will “BREAK YOUR HEART.”
Watching Caleb Williams sobbing with his family after losing the game will BREAK YOUR HEART. This young man pours his heart out for his team EVERY TIME he plays. Any NFL team would be lucky to have him as their QB and this emotion shows how much this game means to him. @CALEBcsw pic.twitter.com/BLBBE9IvG9
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) November 5, 2023
“Watching Caleb Williams sobbing with his family after losing the game will BREAK YOUR HEART,” Griffin posted. “This young man pours his heart out for his team EVERY TIME he plays.”
Griffin felt that Williams, largely considered to be the top pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, only buttressed his draft stock with the emotional response.
“Any NFL team would be lucky to have him as their QB and this emotion shows how much this game means to him,” Griffin said.
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Griffin’s video was promptly re-posted by conservative pundit and outspoken personality Jason Whitlock, who took a decidedly different view of the viral clip.
“Wow. I see it just the opposite. Undraftable,” Whitlock said on X.
A quick search on X for “Caleb Williams” shows that countless other people are as divided as Whitlock and Griffin are on that clip.
On the one hand, a number of comments mentioned how refreshing it was to see someone who was so passionate for what he did.
On the other hand, an equal number of comments called out Williams for being overly emotional and not handling a loss very well.
It’s a debate that will likely not reach any sort of equitable conclusion anytime soon. Some people will always think it’s okay for men to cry like that, others will say that men should only cry twice — at their father’s funeral and their mother’s funeral.
Who’s to say whose right?
But while that debate may not end anytime soon, Williams’ viral video clip does seem to be a point strongly in favor of a different age-old sports debate: If you’re a virtual lock to be a top NFL Draft pick, should you return to school if you still have eligibility left?
Those in favor of that will often argue that it’s completely the player’s prerogative and that it’s good for college football — all fair points.
Those against, however, typically argue one of two things:
- You could get injured
- You’re just giving scouts and critics more to pore over and nitpick you about
Given the way fans and critics alike have instantly analyzed and debated the video of a weeping Williams, that second bullet point seems inarguable.