On Monday night, nearly the entire San Francisco 49ers offensive line and a handful of players gathered at a San Mateo movie theater in support of teammate Trent Williams.
Williams hosted a private screening for friends, family and teammates for his long-awaited documentary "Silverback: The Trent Williams Story."
In 2019, Williams was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening form of cancer at the age of 30. After defying all odds and staring death in the face, the All-Pro left tackle overcame Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans and miraculously went on to return to the top of his game in the NFL just a short year later.
In April of 2020, the 49ers acquired Williams in a trade with the Washington Football Team. Just a year removed from his life-threatening surgery, Williams earned his eighth Pro Bowl appearance while being regarded as one of the top players in the league at his position. He followed up that campaign in 2021 by putting together, so far, an unprecedented season in Year 11, where the left tackle is on pace to have the highest-overall grade of any player at any position in a season according to football analytics site Pro Football Focus.
While dominant on the field, Williams is generally a very private person. And for the first time, he's opening up about his journey and hoping it can inspire others who may be going through the same thing.
"Trent's been a big bro to me since Day 1, since I got here," rookie quarterback Trey Lance said. "Anything off the field or on the field, he's been a resource for me. With everything he's been through, he's just a really special person."
Added safety Talanoa Hufanga: "He's a great player, but man he's just an incredible person. Like this dude does it all on and off the field. And he's so genuine about it and he cares about his teammates. You can see how all these guys showed up tonight. So we're just proud of him and want to continue to support him."
Possessing a relatively "quiet" persona, "The Trent Williams Story" shares the left tackle's incredible journey from his childhood, to the NFL, to discovering a conspicuous lump on his head, to hearing he had days to live, to multiple surgeries, to his recovery and triumph and ultimately his determination to help in the fight against sarcoma.
The documentary, built on family, faith and resilience, does an in-depth dive that highlights the horrific lowest moment of his rapidly-ending life and returning to San Francisco as the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL. Featuring the likes of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, five-time Grammy-winning artist Lil Wayne, NFL players Adrian Peterson, Vernon Davis and Chris Ivory, ESPN's Adam Schefter and Dianna Russini among others, the documentary gives an honest and intense journey into the strength and determination that made Williams a true "Silverback."
"It was an emotional roller coaster. He almost lost his life," director Jared Zwerling explained. "His head was fully open, so many surgeries, 600 stitches, missing football – this guy's such a competitor. He's a silverback. He's a beast.
"So what fans are going to see is just the horror, the drama, what he felt, the airplane ride to go see the doctor, not knowing what was next for him and then his impact off the field. He's a really unique entrepreneur and community leader. All he does back in Longview, Texas and the Sarcoma Foundation, he's now an ambassador and he's given back to that. He's really a larger-than-life kind of guy and he does it all in so many different ways. His impact, you're going to see that in the documentary."
The documentary is available on Amazon, Apple TV+, iTunes and more. A portion of the film's proceeds will be donated to the fight against sarcoma.
Trey Lance, Alex Mack, Laken Tomlinson and a number of 49ers players attended the private premiere of Williams' emotional documentary detailing his life-threatening cancer battle and return to the field.