It’s pre-season for the NFL, and a report from MLive, a Michigan news source, described how anime is involved in Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams’ training camp.
Williams was recently involved with practices against the Indianapolis Colts, and afterward he went home with a bucket of anime gifts given to him by fans. This is because Williams had previously told fans that if they give him anime goodies, he’ll respond by giving them football goodies. With this, he thinks fans connect with him as a person and not just a NFL player.
Jamaal Williams walking out of every practice with a bucket of anime stuff, no matter where he’s at. pic.twitter.com/mSodHa41bi
— Benjamin Raven (@BenjaminSRaven) August 18, 2022
“Man. My fans love me. It’s more of an anime thing. My anime fans love me,” he remarked. “I even got a free box to put all my stuff in, then I got multiple offenders too from yesterday who brought me something, and then they said they was going to bring me something today and they did. I appreciate loyalty, pride and people sticking to they word. And that’s anime people, anime people for you. We stick to our word.”
Williams continued, “Anime is everywhere. Don’t matter what team you’re on or anything. You always appreciate somebody who loves anime. So even on the Colts team, I had a couple like four or five players come up to me. I had a Kiseki durag on, and it was like ‘ah, Naruto, who is your favorite character, ah.’ You know what I mean. It’s just a great conversation starter. You can meet anybody, if you love anime, you’ll find a lot of people who love it. They ain’t going to look like you. They going to have different stuff on or just a different person. But y’all have that same thing in common.”
And if you’re wondering what his favorite anime are, well, he just shared on Twitter:
— Jamaal Williams (@jswaggdaddy) August 17, 2022
He even has a close-up of Gaara’s face as his Twitter banner.
Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans recently said that about 80% of athletes in the NBA are anime fans. What percentage do you suppose there are in the NFL?
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.