ESPN is taking a ton of flak for “fat shaming” New Orleans Pelicans power forward Zion Williamson during his NBA debut on Thursday.
As Williamson made his debut against the San Antonio Spurs, analysts Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy began remarking on Williamson’s weight since he was last seen on the court playing for Duke.
In the first place, ESPN flashed a graphic reading, “Weight: 285 lbs (3rd-heaviest player in NBA this season).”
Then Jackson noted that the player clearly looks heavier compared to his college playing days. The pair even talked about how amazed they were that Williamson gained eight pounds a week after jumping back into his workout regimen. In fact, they wondered if the player’s reported 285 pounds is even accurate.
Some fans were incensed over ESPN’s comments.
Damn, it feels like ESPN moved this Pelicans game to primetime to fat shame ZIon, SMH
— Brenny (@Brenny_Bren) January 23, 2020
— Jordache DeJuan Jordan (@jdjallday) January 23, 2020
Don’t fat shame Zion please
— dinosaur dogg (@borisauris) January 23, 2020
Great stuff from Jeff Van Gundy ⬇️
I fell asleep at half time and Zion was basically fat and grossly out of shape, I wake up he is second coming. How quickly social media/media/and our own personal desire to make a statement is out of control.
— John Combs (@JohnCombs98) January 23, 2020
Questions over his weight aside, Williamson electrified the crowd and late in the game scored 17 points helping to turn a double-digit deficit into a Pelicans lead before he headed to the bench. Despite his drive, though, the Spurs came back to win the game 121-117.
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