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Kansas City Chiefs Cornerback with Caribbean Roots Rose to Success in the NFL


Joshua Williams of the Kansas City Chiefs showing of his Super Bowl ring.

Joshua Williams Photo/Instagram


Raised by a widowed father from St. Kitts and Nevis, two-time SuperBowl-winning cornerback of the NFL team the Kansas City Chiefs, Joshua Williams was not always a champion. From his mother passing away when he was only 6-months-old to living on his own at the age of 16, Williams was no stranger to working through hard times. Growing up in the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and having his fair share of setbacks, Williams’ humble beginnings still keep him grounded with his successful career.

The Work Ethic Behind Williams' Success


The 24-year-old made history earlier this month along with his team for winning back-to-back championship games, a feat that has not been accomplished by any other team in 20 years.


His rise to success is remarkable, especially considering that the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted his collegiate football journey, by canceling the season during the height of his university career. Within four years, Williams went from not being able to compete in football games to competing at the highest level of the sport and winning.

 

The interruption of the pandemic did not stop Williams from working toward his dream, as he explained in an interview with the Kansas City Star. He continued to train when he could, worked part-time jobs as a delivery driver and supermarket security, and watched the professionals play to keep his dream alive.


Kansas City Chief Joshua Williams on the field running.

 

Brian Frierson, former high school coach of Williams, credits his success to his work ethic in an interview with ABC 11. Saying of Joshua, “He is extremely humble, he just wants to be great. He understands that this is a continuous process. No matter how good he is, he knows that he can continue to get better in certain areas of the game and areas of his life.”

Originally, Williams played the position of wide receiver, where he struggled with completing catches. Then, in his final year of high school, his coaches noticed his speed and build and suggested that he play cornerback. From there, his abilities and potential to excel in the next level was apparent.

 

However, Williams still had to work on his academics in order to play football on the collegiate level, so he spent a year at Palmetto Preparatory Academy after high school before transferring to play at Fayetteville State University and becoming a starting cornerback. After a highly successful senior year of college football at Fayetteville State University, Williams became a fourth-round NFL draft pick for the Chiefs.


Williams’ draft selection serves as an example to other football players coming out of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as well as students playing for Division II schools that playing professionally and being a Super Bowl Champion is attainable.

 

Pride in His Caribbean Heritage


His father, George Williams immigrated to the United States from Molineaux, St. Kitts and Nevis, and he is one of his son’s most significant role models. George Williams took a military contract overseas when his son was 16, leaving Williams in North Carolina to live alone, but Joshua never felt alone. His father’s presence in his life was still near, “I stay ready to keep from getting ready,” Joshua Williams said was the mantra his father constantly repeated to him in an interview with the Kansas City Star.

 

Williams displays pride in his Caribbean heritage, spending a holiday in St. Kitts and Nevis after his victory in last year’s Super Bowl, posting on social media that he feels the love from the nation, and wearing the flag on his helmet during games in support of international diversity.



Kansas City Chief Joshua Williams celebrating 2024 Super Bowl win on the field with family and friends.

 

His Caribbean roots are not the only part of his background that Williams appreciates. He also acknowledges his former coaches, family members, and starter jobs for making him the man he is today.

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As Joshua Williams continues to rise in prominence in the NFL, his memories of overcoming setbacks, working menial jobs, and living independently keep him humble yet underline his unstoppable determination for continued success in football.



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