High School Sports

A message for you Zion Williamson-hating, crybaby trolls

Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach must defeat Spartanburg Day and Zion Williamson (left) on Thursday in order to reach the SCISA Class 2A state championship game.
Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach must defeat Spartanburg Day and Zion Williamson (left) on Thursday in order to reach the SCISA Class 2A state championship game. AP

Man, some of you are crybabies.

Yes, Zion Williamson chose to go out of state and play collegiate basketball at Duke.

Yes, the Spartanburg Day standout and No. 2 prospect in the country chose the Blue Devils over South Carolina and Clemson (and others). Does that suck for in-state college basketball? Yes.

But get over it. The way in which some people acted on social media after his announcement was absurd. A colleague at The Sun News put out a tweet that foreshadowed what was to come: “Who’s ready to see some spiteful tweets?”

And boy was he right.

While I won’t give the peanut gallery the credit by naming their Twitter handles, here’s a few of the things I saw:

  • One referred to him as a “Great Value Chuck Hayes.”
  • Another said he was a “fat Shawn Kemp.”
  • One outright said they hated him.
  • He apparently had made a “terrible decision” and one had “never heard of her.”
  • Several talked about how he only dunks and how that won’t translate to college.
  • To one, he is a “hyped-up Anthony Bennett.”
  • Another anointed him top prospect R.J. Barrett’s sidekick (indeed, Barrett and the third overall prospect are also headed to Durham, N.C.)

And these are just some of the comments I saw on my colleague’s time line. Funny thing is, these people had to be fans of colleges in the running that didn’t win Williamson’s services. Otherwise, I don’t see any reason for such vitriol.

But many are forgetting a key point: he’s a high school kid.

Yes, being such a phenom has probably prepared him somewhat for all the attention (positive and negative). However, that doesn’t make it right for him to have to be ridiculed for making the best decision for himself. The reaction to the decision is more of a reflection on those who have 140 characters at their fingertips than the athlete himself.

It’s really funny how mighty folks become when hiding behind a computer or smartphone.

Take the Chuck Hayes comment, for example. I doubt any of these trolls would say that in front of the 6-foot-6 man who was known best for banging with the best of them for rebounds in college and in the NBA. Let’s even consider Anthony Bennett. Yeah, he’s probably one of the biggest draft busts of all time. But I bet none of these haters could score a point against him in one-on-one.

All this being said, there were plenty of people – and I’m sure many who aren’t Blue Devils fans – who lauded his decision. Yet, it’s the morons who stand out for saying ridiculous things.

Nonetheless, in two years Williamson will be making millions in the NBA and the whole season he spent in college will be in the rearview. So will these comments.

Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to be a jerk in a split second in this rapidly moving world that runs on social media.

You remember the old term “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Well, some of you should adhere to that. However, I won’t on this occasion.

You trolls are a bunch of crybabies. Period.

David Wetzel: 843-626-0295, @MYBSports