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Will Smith Bashed for Using Serena Williams as His Shield After Slapping Chris Rock

Published 05/22/2022, 4:30 PM EDT

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Will Smith won his first-ever academy award this year for his movie “King Richard”. But Smith will be remembered for a long time for his slap on comedian Chris Rock in front of millions of people. Chris Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett didn’t sit well with Will. So he climbed onto the stage and slapped Chris.

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A few moments after the shocking incident, he won the “Best Actor” award. The movie was based on the true story of Richard Williams, the father of legendary tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. During his acceptance speech, a tearful Will Smith stated that he protects his women like Richard Williams in the movie.

All-time NBA great Kareem Abdul Jabbar shared his view on the matter on his website. He wrote that Will Smith’s actions were actually a blow to men, women, the entertainment industry, and the Black community. 


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He wrote that Will’s self-serving acceptance speech, where he talked about protecting women in the movie, was worse than the slap. 

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Kareem wrote, Those who protect don’t brag about it in front of 15 million people. They just do it and shut up. You don’t do it as a movie promotion claiming how you’re like the character you just won an award portraying. By using these women to virtue signal, he was in fact exploiting them to benefit himself. But, of course, the speech was about justifying his violence. Apparently, so many people need Smith’s protection that occasionally it gets too much and someone needs to be smacked.

Will Smith and Richard Williams

Smith trying to justify his violent actions by comparing himself to Richard Williams wasn’t taken lightly. Fans showed their disapproval of Will’s comments on social media. Many believed that he was trying to use Richard, Venus, and Serena Williams as a shield. 


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Kareem was also worried about Will’s influence on young boys. He feels that the boys watching their idol hitting another man over a joke who then justifies it by saying that he is a protector is not setting a great example.


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After the incident, Will Smith issued a public apology to Chris Rock via Instagram. He also expressed his regrets to the Academy, the producers of the show, the attendees, and everyone around the world who watched the show.

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Written by:

Bagavathi Eswaran


One take at a time

Bagavathi Eswaran is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been playing the game of basketball for more than 20 years now and has also been following the NBA for more than 10 years. After not being able to go pro, this former college player decided to join the IT industry.
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Edited by:

Paras Pande