The Will Smith-Chris Rock Oscars fiasco has caused quite a stir among pop culture fanatics. Some have slammed Smith for choosing violence that night. Others have also criticized Rock for uttering a distasteful joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and her battle with Alopecia — the autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Ex-NBA player Charlie Villanueva was one of the public figures who shared their thoughts on the matter. Like Jada, Villanueva also suffers from Alopecia and understands what she's going through on a daily basis.
He stood up for his wife
Through social media, Villanueva reminded everyone that we don't necessarily see Jada and Will's struggles every day. Villanueva did not give Smith a free pass, though. But he's nonetheless proud that he defended his wife.
"She voiced that she struggled with [Alopecia], and Chris Rock thought it was cool to crack a joke. We are not with Jada everyday to know the level of the struggle, but Will does."
"As I don't condone violence, Im proud that Will Smith stood up for his wife," Villanueva said.
Villanueva, an ambassador for National Alopecia Areata Foundation, sent a message to those going through the same battle as him.
"Remember, you have Alopecia, Alopecia doesn't have you. Don't give up on yourself. Life is just as beautiful as you."
Also a victim
Like Jada, Villanueva also became a target of teasing and jokes due to his appearance. The most infamous one was from Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett, who called Villanueva a "cancer patient." It was meant to be some form of trash talk. But it crossed the line in so many ways. KG later clarified that he meant to say that Villanueva was bringing his team down.
"My comment to Charlie Villanueva was in fact 'You are cancerous to your team and our league.' I would never be insensitive to the brave struggle that cancer patients endure. I have lost loved ones to this deadly disease and have a family member currently undergoing treatment. I would never say anything that distasteful. The game of life is far bigger than the game of basketball," Garnett said, per ESPN.
Villanueva didn't buy Garnett's explanation. Instead, he shared his desire to fight Garnett so he could show how the Celtics legend is tough only on the outside.
"KG talks alot of crap, he's prob never been in a fight, I would love to get in a ring with him, I will expose him," Villanueva tweeted.
The Oscars fiasco has sparked a great amount of conversation about violence, comedy, and awards shows. More importantly, it has shed light on Alopecia — the autoimmune disease that affects one's physical, mental, and psychological health.