Would you agree the game of football is one of the world’s roughest sports? In-order to even dream of one day being drafted to play in the National Football League (NFL), would you agree one needs two hands to accomplish this?
If you said yes, you’re so wrong because Shaquem Griffin is on the scene. I believe he’s not only going to be drafted into the NFL, but break all the stereotypes of what people perceive a “normal” football player should look like.
Shaquem was born with only one hand due to a condition called amniotic band syndrome; it caused his hand to under develop. His hand eventually had to be amputated when he was four. It is my theory, it’s easier to adapt to a disability when you’re young or born with one. This gives you time to figure out how to do things for yourself. I learned early how to open candy when I was a little girl because I loved it and still do, especially gummy bears. It’s not the prettiest process but I get the job done.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Shaquem got a chance to show what he was made of. Shaquem dazzled scouts with his swiftness, endurance, and radiant personality. Social media blew up as NFL’s players praised and rallied for the scouts to choose Griffin. Shaquem, who attended and played football for the University of Central Florida, had already made a name for himself. Now, it’s his time to prove that although he has a disability, he is still very capable to play professional football. Nothing is going to stop him from going after his dreams.
Shaquem also wants bragging rights. His older twin brother Shaquille who happens to be his biggest fan, plays in the NFL for the Seattle, Seahawks. They were both competitive growing up. Shaquem desperately wants to play against his brother and win. Nothing better than sibling love rivalry, it’s the best.
The world can sometimes be so judgmental when it comes to people with disabilities. I think it’s that old way of thinking that left a negative dent in people’s minds. It’s the mind-set that people with disabilities aren’t able to do anything or contribute to society which often deters society from giving us a chance; but it’s a new day. Now, we as people with disabilities have rights and are taking full advantage to be included in all aspects of everyday society.
What I have come to know is, when we get an opportunity to show our talents, as my young nieces and nephews say, “It’s on and poppin”! Watch out for Shaquem. He’s about to take the world and hopefully the NFL by storm!
Check out more about Shaquem here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/shaquem-griffin-a-linebacker-with-one-hand-wows-scouts-at-nfl-combine/