Damien Williams, a running back on the Kansas City Chiefs, became the latest NFL player to step away from the upcoming season

Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams
Credit: Brynn Anderson/AP/Shutterstock

Kansas City Chiefs player Damian Williams is sitting out of the 2020 NFL season to take care of his mother after she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

The 28-year-old running back revealed the family ordeal during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio last week.

“I’m dealing with a family matter, my mom was just diagnosed with cancer and it’s Stage 4, so that was my decision,” Williams said on the program, according to NBC Sports. “With everything that’s going on, she was the only one there for me. I never had the opportunity to have my dad there."

"My mom is my rock, my everything, so during a hard time like this, I think I should be next to her every step," he continued.

The NFL is allowing players to sit out of the upcoming season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Williams' teammate, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, became the first player to opt-out on July 24.

According to the American Cancer Society, coronavirus can be especially dangerous for people with underlying conditions such as cancer. Patients are also more vulnerable to coronavirus since cancer can damage parts of the immune system.

Williams told SiriusXM NFL Radio the decision to walk away from the season, just months after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, was no easy choice.

"It was hard, I sat down and talked to everybody in my circle, my family and everybody close to me," Williams said on the show.

"My mom was just like, 'Whatever’s your decision, I’m behind you,' " he recalled. "It was hard. Football is my life and coming off a championship and wanting a repeat — and I know they’re going to handle that — but at the end of the day, it was something personal I had to handle."

The NFL's regular season is scheduled to begin on Sept. 10, with the Chiefs set for a matchup against the Houston Texans.

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As of Monday afternoon, coronavirus has sickened more than 4.6 million and killed over 155,336 in the United States, according to a New York Times database.

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