College football star Caleb Williams riles homophobes with pink phone, pink wallet and pink nails

Caleb Williams seen wearing a yellow hoodie and holding a pink phone case at a basketball game

Former USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams, 22, caused quite a stir when he was spotted watching a USC women’s basketball game on Monday (25 March) with pink-painted nails and a pink phone.

He was caught on camera at the game and waved cheerfully, showing off his pink items. The rising football star won a coveted Heisman Trophy in 2022, which is awarded to the best collegiate football player in America.

Unsurprisingly, Williams’ excellent style choices sparked a huge backlash online from angry sports fans, who took to X (formerly Twitter) en masse to condemn Williams’ “girly” appearance.

One person who was deeply upset by a colour tweeted: “Naw this dude too sassy for me I can’t stand him.”

Another referred to him as “Gayleb Williams”.

In fact, nearly every one of the 1000 comments beneath the Barstool Sports video were homophobic, highlighting how the world of football has, historically, not been a friendly or supportive place for gay players, especially within the NFL.

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Former Las Vegas Raiders star Carl Nassib made history during Pride month in 2021 when he came out as gay, but no other players have followed suit since then.

To date, there have only ever been 16 out gay or bisexual NFL players – hardly any, in the grand scheme of things, especially when you think about the huge number of footballers who have donned a uniform since the NFL was founded in 1920.

Caleb Williams deciding to rock a pink phone/pink nails combo while watching the USC Trojans’ 73-55 win caused the phrase “Caleb Williams gay” and “Caleb Williams boyfriend” to start trending in Google.

The results of the search actually bring up Caleb Williams’ girlfriend: Valery Orellana.

Caleb Williams and his girlfriend Valery went Instagram official in October 2020 when they posted a snap of themselves heading to prom, and as of 2024 they’re believe to still be together.

Why does Caleb Williams paint his nails?

Caleb Williams has painted his nails for years: in fact it’s become a bit of a trademark of his after he started doing it on game days when he was in college.

Williams has said that it is his way of honouring his mom, who works as a nail technician.

In a 2023 interview the star quarterback said: “”It started, I would say, three years ago. It was my last year of high school. My mom does nails. Let’s just start it off there. She’s done it my whole life. It’s just kind of always been around me. Nobody else does it. I just kinda like to do new things.”

The rising star also set up the Caleb Cares Foundation for anti-bullying, mental health awareness and youth development.

Caleb Williams took to X to hit back at some of the recent negative comments about his pink phone and nails.

One person tweeted: “Pink phone is crazy ngl (not gonna lie).”

Williams replied: “”Your pfp (profile picture) is crazy ngl.” Enough said, really.

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