“Ain’t no way that was real” - NFL players react to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars 

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars
Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars
Nick Goodling

Will Smith committed one of the most unforgettable moments in television history Sunday when he slapped host Chris Rock at the Oscars. Smith's slap came after Rock made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.

It was an unexpected moment that rivals anything we've ever seen on live TV. Immediately following the slap, the NFL community took to Twitter to express their feelings.


One of the best quotes from the night came from NFL legend Charles Woodson. Woodson was in disbelief over what he saw. His thoughts echoed what the majority of the world felt at that instant.

Ain’t no way that was real #Oscars2022 😳

Deion Sanders is a legend in the NFL and was disgusted by what Will Smith did at the Oscars. He prayed to the powers that be for love to reign supreme and begged for someone to tell him that what he saw was a joke.

Did I just see what I just saw! @willsmith punched @chrisrock live on stage !!! Somebody tell me this was a joke. Please. Chris took it like a STANDUP GUY LITERALLY!!! WOW WOW WOW! Lord help us please help us Love each other especially in front of company. #CoachPrime

Chandler Jones' reaction to the Oscars was different than some of the rest. The Las Vegas Raiders star said all it took was one fight for everyone to get scared.

Got in one little fight and we all got scared.

Washington Commanders running back Antonio Gibson made a joke of the matter, referencing one of Smith's biggest hits, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Bout to get sent back to Bel Air 😂😂

Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee also joined in on the reactions.

Hey… shit went DAHN at the Oscars

Boston Scott saw the viral clip after he got off his flight. What a first thing to see after a flight that must've been.

Me fresh off my flight checking why the Oscar’s trending:

Marlon Humphrey thought the situation was funny, saying Smith laughed at Rock's joke before taking offense and slapping the Oscars host.

It’s funny cause Will laughed at the joke 😂😂

Adrian Amos tweeted you better have hands if you got jokes.

You better have hands if you got jokes 😂

Pittsburgh Steelers star Cameron Heyward used, perhaps, the most accurate meme of any NFL player. The gif attached to his tweet showed the uncomfortable vibes that the world was sharing simultaneously.

Finally, Will Compton made a meme of Smith's character from the Men In Black movie franchise. He included a picture of Smith holding a mind-erasing device because Smith will likely hope people have short-term memories on the matter.

Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars is a moment that will live in infamy

Will Smith stares down Chris Rock after slapping him
Will Smith stares down Chris Rock after slapping him

Smith's slap was one of the most memorable moments in history. It sounds like hyperbole. But few moments in the history of television have generated as much a reaction from so many contingents of the world's population as what transpired Sunday night.

Smith apologized to the Academy after winning his first-ever Academy Award after he had already slapped Rock. But by that point, the visual was ingrained in everyone's minds.

A crowning achievement in Smith's life turned into one of the most controversial moments of his life.

Edited by Windy Goodloe


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