Running back DeAngelo Williams found out last week that the Carolina Panthers would cut him. No longer a Panther, he decided to air some grievances, specifically involving the Panthers' relationship with Sandra Hill, his mother who died of breast cancer in May 2014.
Williams, who also lost four aunts to breast cancer, heavily participated in the NFL's breast cancer awareness campaign in October, a time when practically everything associated with the league—including Sandra Hill—is covered in a brand-strengthening shade of pink. When Hill died, Williams said he received messages from coach Ron Rivera and general manager David Gettleman, but no one else. Panthers owner Jerry Richardson apparently didn't talk to Williams until two weeks after the running back had written something about his mother for MMQB.
From Williams's interview with WBTV:
"[Gettleman] was like, 'Man we're praying for you'. I said 'I really appreciate it, thank you so much. He said, 'If there's anything we can ever do for you, don't hesitate to call.' I was like man.. you know I really appreciate that.' That was the end. That was it," he said.
"Nobody came to the funeral," he said. "The owner didn't reach out. He didn't say anything. Never talked to me. Nobody upstairs ever talked to me. The only two people who ever said anything to me was Coach Rivera and Dave Gettleman. Everybody else was... they were busy because it was the draft."
He continued. "I was upset with Carolina, because the last five or six years during October, [my mom] was celebrated, but then when she was no longer here — let's move on. [I was] very disappointed. And, somewhat angry [...] it stung to know that a place of business that you've worked for, you've bled, you've played through injuries, you've done everything you possibly can for this organization to be successful, and then upon your darkest hour, they let you, handle it by yourself."
Williams said he isn't mad at Rivera or Gettleman for not going to the funeral—defensive end Greg Hardy was the only one who showed up—and according to him, Richardson apologized for the delay. The team now has a policy on how to deal with deaths in players' families, though it's odd that there needs to be a policy for human sympathy.