Big Easy-native Tyrann Mathieu says he received death threats after calling the alleged murderer of former New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith a “hating ass coward.”
“I don’t think I can go back to New Orleans, I don’t think that’s possible,” Mathieu explained to the New York Daily News. “Why? Because I called a spade a spade.”
The Honey Badger railed against budget cuts to parks and schools, rap music with lyrics glorifying violence, corrupt politicians, and absentee fathers in prison in a multi-tweet social media rant in response to the murder of Smith, a man Mathieu looked up to growing up in New Orleans. He also repeatedly depicted Cardell Hayes, the towering former high school football star accused of killing Smith, as a coward.
On The Rich Eisen Show the Arizona Cardinals defensive back noted that even before his unflattering characterization of Smith he avoided prolonged visits to New Orleans because of the dangers. Hayes, he explained, acted as one of many troubled young men who make the city dangerous.
“I’m very familiar with him,” he told Eisen. “I’ve had several encounters with him growing up, and I’d even say altercations with him growing up so I know what type of personality he is. I would like to choose my words wisely because obviously we lost someone and obviously we want to pray for that person, but I even want to pray for Cardell because he was always one of those bullies, so to say. So I know him from those type of altercations.
“He was a very big guy,” the LSU star continued, “and he felt as if he could muscle his way with anybody in New Orleans.”