Gay’s mother was killed when he was eight years old, and he had to grow up without his mother, watching him achieve his dreams.
William Gay was a standout athlete before he got to the NFL
Gay is a native of Tallahassee, Florida, and he attended James S. Rickards High School. In high school, he played quarterback, wide receiver, and safety, and he gained over 1,200 all-purpose yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. During his senior year, he threw for 1,035 yards with seven touchdowns, had 1,237 receiving yards with 11 touchdowns, and 82 tackles, 14 pass breakups and nine interceptions as a defensive back his senior year.
He also excelled in track and field where he competed in the 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, long jump, and the 40-yard dash. Gay decided to attend the University of Louisville to play football. During his career there, he played in 46 games recording 134 tackles. Louisville went on to play in a bowl game each of his three years there. After his senior year, he entered the NFL draft.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the fifth round of the 2007 draft. Pittsburgh signed him to a three-year, $1.221 million contract. In his first rookie season with the Steelers, he did not see much action, but that would change after.
William Gay winning a Super Bowl title with the Steelers
During his second season with the Steelers, Gay was a part of a team who was one of the best in the NFL. The Steelers finished with a 12-4 regular-season record and were first in the AFC North Division. Going into the playoffs, they defeated the San Diego Chargers and the Baltimore Ravens en route to the Super Bowl, where they faced the Arizona Cardinals.
Gay made an appearance in the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. He recorded two tackles as the Steelers went on to defeat the Cardinals 27-23 in a close contest. Gay was a Super Bowl champion in his second NFL season. He spent the majority of his career in Pittsburgh, and he played one season with the Cardinals. Gay finished his career with 571 total tackles, seven sacks, and 13 interceptions.
William Gay wanted to spread awareness of domestic violence because of what happened to his mother
Gay’s mother was a victim of domestic violence, and he and his siblings knew nothing about it when it was going on. Gay’s mother left her boyfriend one night, and her boyfriend ended up finding her and shot her three times before he killed himself. As Gay got older, he started to learn more about domestic violence and how people should speak up if they were going through that or know of someone experiencing it.
He shared his story of his mother’s death in a video for the Women’s Center, and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh wanted them to have awareness about domestic violence. It was a tragic death that Gay had to deal with at a young age. As he got older, he wanted to help people understand how domestic violence can affect others.