Australian gridiron player Jesse Williams' short career in the NFL has sadly been plagued by more off-field medical issues than on-field achievements, but the towering Queenslander has been recognised by his team-mates for his exceptional perseverance and bravery.
Rugby league convert Jarryd Hayne has been stealing the spotlight for some time now, but there are actually a number of Australians carving out a career in the NFL who don't get nearly the level of hysteria the Hayne Plane has attracted.
Jesse Williams is one.
Williams, a 193cm tall defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, has had his promising football career cruelly dented by serious knee injuries in both his rookie 2013 season and in 2014.
In May this year, Williams was diagnosed with papillary Type 2 cancer in his kidney.
Very Humbled and Grateful for being selected for this award. Means a lot to my Family and I being recognised for constantly fighting these obstacles life throws at us. Appreciate all the messages of support as My family and I still Continue to Take care of this cancer until it is Gone & I Can be in Remission. #MonstarStrong #FuckCancer
Williams said he had been named the Seahawks' winner of the Ed Block Courage Award, a prestigious peer-voted award in the NFL. Each team names their own winner each year, with praise for players "who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage."
Williams' commitment, drive and perseverance through debilitating knee injuries and then a cancer diagnosis certainly fit that bill.Suggest a correction