Mourning the loss of Will Smith, who was shot dead in an apparent road-rage incident Saturday night, Sean Payton isn't keeping quiet.
The longtime New Orleans Saints coach, who guided Smith and the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2010, is outright blaming Louisiana gun laws.
“If this opinion in Louisiana is super unpopular, so be it — 200 years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?’" Payton told USA Today about the easy access to guns. “The idea that we need them to fend off intruders… people are more apt to draw them [in other situations]. That’s some silly stuff we’re hanging on to.”
He added: “I’ve heard people argue that everybody needs a gun. That’s madness. I know there are many kids who grow up in a hunting environment. I get that. But there are places, like England, where even the cops don’t have guns.”
And an enraged Payton wasn't done yet.
“I’m not an extreme liberal,” Payton said. “I find myself leaning to the right on some issues. But on this issue, I can’t wrap my brain around it. I hate guns."
On Saturday night, Smith was gunned down and his wife was shot twice in her leg after he got out of his Mercedes-Benz G63 SUV to confront the driver of a Hummer H2, which rear-ended him. Cardell Hayes, the man charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of Smith, is in police custody.
Payton's strong sentiments about guns and gun laws came after NOLA.com released disturbing footage moments after Saturday night's shooting, in which you could hear Smith's wife, Raquel, say, "My leg has been shot."
After learning of the senseless crime, Payton rushed to Raquel's side in the hospital, where she underwent surgery.
He then told USA Today about what he had learned about the weapon Hayes used to kill Smith.
“It was a large caliber gun. A .45,” Payton said. “It was designed back during World War I. And this thing just stops people. It will kill someone within four or five seconds after they are struck. You bleed out. After the first shot [that struck Smith’s torso], he took three more in his back. We could go online and get 10 of them, and have them shipped to our house tomorrow. I don’t believe that was the intention when they allowed for the right for citizens to bear arms.”
He added: "Our city is broken."
BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.
(Photos from Left: Grant Halverson/Getty Images, Chris Graythen/Getty Images)