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USC star Caleb Williams now says crying in mother's arms on TV helped spread 'awareness' for 'mental health'
Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

USC star Caleb Williams now says crying in mother's arms on TV helped spread 'awareness' for 'mental health'

Caleb Williams, the college football star who was pictured crying in his mother's arms after losing a game, said that he feels his actions help spread awareness for mental health and expressing oneself.

The Heisman Trophy winner received ridicule as well as praise following a 52-42 loss to Washington, which split commentators and athletes into different camps over the imagery.

Days later, Williams said that his actions actually helped him spread awareness about mental health and self-expression.

"Being an advocate for mental health and trying to show your emotions and express yourself - it's something that I've been doing since I was young," Williams wrote on Instagram.

It is unclear what the quarterback was referring to with the generic claim of promoting "mental health" since he was "young"; Williams is only 21 years old.

"Now being on the national level, being able to try and share that awareness with the public and me doing just what I did on Saturday, even thought it was far from what I was trying to do, it showed and spread that awareness," he added.

In videos following the loss, Williams jumped into the crowd to hug his mother, before using the sign she was holding to cover his face while he cried, with his body showing visible signs of distress.

"Williams felt compelled to run to his mommy in the stands ... and clearly bawled his eyes out," said OutKick's Charly Arnolt.

Former NFL quarterback and commentator Robert Griffin III saw it differently. Williams "pours his heart out for his team EVERY TIME he plays. Any NFL team would be lucky to have him as their QB and this emotion shows how much this game means to him," he wrote.

Fellow NFL great Robert Mathis replied to Griffin by remarking "sorry ... but I gotta chalk this one up in the soft category. He ran and jumped in stance to his mommy and cried. I always tell players 'I’ll never lie to em' and this is not the look you want from your [quarterback]."

Williams also commented on his emotional state after the game and said, "I want to go home and cuddle with my dog and watch some shows."

"I don’t know. Like, we lost the game. Something you work hard for throughout months, years to have big games like this, try and go win and play your best, each and every one of us," he added, according to the New York Post.

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