Jamaal Williams Says NFL Is Trying To Take His ‘Joy’ With Fines

Jamaal Williams Says NFL Is Trying To Take His ‘Joy’ With Fines

Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams has a message for the NFL: I have to be me.

Jamaal Williams via Detroit Lions YouTube

While leading the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns in 2022, Williams rose to prominence as a contributing factor to a rising playoff contender. The former BYU star finally broke out in his sixth season, gaining 1,006 rushing yards while averaging 4.1 yards per carry.

Although the Lions (9-8) failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2016, they were on the hunt until last weekend. Now, it looks like all the pieces are starting to fall into place for the team, as they come together behind head coach Dan Campbell.

Jamaal Williams via Detroit Lions YouTube

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Jamaal Williams has emerged as one such piece, having initially been considered a potential replacement for 2020 second-round pick D’Andre Swift. He had already spent a few years as a part-time player for Green Bay, so the Lions were pleasantly surprised that he was back in the feature.

Williams then literally took the ball and ran with it. Not only reaching the end zone prolifically, but doing it in style.

Williams entertained audiences with his showmanship, making him one of the NFL’s most beloved players.

While his teammates and fans may appreciate his joy, the NFL commissioner’s office apparently does not. The effervescent running back was fined $28,000 during the 2022 season for excessive celebration. Apparently, Roger Goodell has no tolerance for his bluster, and Williams expresses his displeasure about it.

He recently appeared on the 33rd Team podcast hosted by his teammate, Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and his brother, Bears wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown. During the show, Jamaal Williams said he didn’t understand why there was such a stigma about what he did.

“I get fined for this stuff. I just feel like they are trying to take away my personality, my joy,” he told them. “Because now I literally have to stop doing it. So now when I score, I’m literally going to sit and pout like a little baby, or something.

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He also said he also finds it ironic that the NFL frequently takes financial action against its players for their excessive observances, but they would use those same celebrations in later landmark films.

“I’m not doing anything wrong. They are just weenies. They want to fine me, but put it all up there, mark it and put me up there and use it. They want to take my money, though,” he said.

Jamaal Williams via Detroit Lions YouTube

Regardless of the cash out of his pocket, Lions fans are counting on plenty more celebrations from Williams in 2023.

Regardless of what has happened off the pitch for Williams and the Lions, the future looks bright at Motor City. After narrowly missing out on the playoffs this year, the team has two of the top 18 picks in the April draft. Adding some instant impact players and seeking help in free agency could position them to challenge for the NFC North Division Championship.

However, for the Detroit Lions to reach the promised land in 2023, they will still need Jamaal Williams to keep scoring a lot more. And maybe… just a little less dancing.

Jamaal Williams via Detroit Lions YouTube

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