NFL Hires Athlete With One Hand


Courtesy of Sole Collector

Arianna Cau, Opinions Editor

In April 2018, Shaquem Griffin, twin brother of Shaquill Griffin, was drafted to join the NFL and become the first NFL player without an actual hand.

This is a big step for the NFL because in its 98 years of business not one athlete has been an unable bodied player on the field. This means that the NFL is being more inclusive of people with physical disabilities. This also shows people that people with physical disabilities can do whatever people without disabilities can, empowering them.

Shaquems early life was very hard for him, when he was in the womb he had an amniotic band around his left set of fingers. Doctors would normally have surgery and take it out, but since his twin brother, Shaquill, was with him, they didn’t want to risk it. This lead him to have amniotic band syndrome. The amniotic band made his hand be in pain all of the time, and it felt soft, which lead him, when he was 4 years old, to try to self-amputate his fingers. After his mom stopped him, she scheduled to get his whole left hand amputated.

When Shaquem was a little older, he and his brother went through athletic training and were trained by their dad. He always pushed Shaquem more because of his disability. He then went on to graduate from the University of Central Florida and played college football there.  

Shaquem Griffin at drafting. Courtesy of CBS Pittsburgh

Since it was announced that Shaquem was going to be playing in the NFL, fans with disabilities have been posting stuff they can do to even more prove the fact that people with disabilities can do everything somebody without them can or to send them to Shaquem. For example a girl named Julia did some gymnastics and only has one arm. One of her family members took a video and posted it to social media. There has also been a girl that does soccer with a prosthetic, and many others.  

7th Grader Wolfie Cox says, “They did paralympics so I think it’s great to do in sports too,” when asked about how he felt about it.

This has been very important to sports because it means that they can include more people into sports. The NFL has just scratched the surface when it comes to this. Because of this more people can join the NFL. It might be harder for them, yes, but it will mean that we will have more equality than if the NFL didn’t do this.