“With the 141st pick in the 2018 draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Shaquem Griffin!”
And with that, history is made and hope is ignited for everyone who battles to overcome physical challenges every day.
Make em Believe Quem !!! pic.twitter.com/6lbReOp2hs
— IamTrayvonBromell (@TrayvonBromell) April 28, 2018
“There have been so many doubters in everything I do. I still have doubters now,” Shaquem told nbcsports.com. “I’m glad I’m on the right team, and I am with guys that I will be able to grow with, and better myself. I will be able to unleash everything that I have been holding to the other teams that didn’t give me a shot.”
And according to Seahawks general manager John Schneider, Shaquem has mad skills to unleash.
“One of the most interesting things about this guy as a football player, is that he makes his plays at critical moments in the game,” Schneider told nbcsports.com. “You can see it when you’re watching film, and then when the analytics guys throw their numbers at you, you go wow. Really impressive. He doesn’t miss any more tackles than the average linebacker in this draft. The rest of his stuff is just off the charts.”
The NFL just released this new video to highlight Shaquem’s story. NFL 360: I Am Shaquem Griffin. And it already has over 6.1 million views on Facebook alone.
The video starts with Shaquem saying, “Trust me. You don’t know half the story.” And then Shaquem shares the other half of the story — his childhood and his quest to play for the NFL. He explains that he was born with a rare condition called amniotic band syndrome. It’s a condition where strands of amniotic membrane wrap around parts of the fetus, limiting blood flow and often resulting in amputation. Doctors removed Shaquem’s left hand when he was 4.
Shaquem says he learned to use his situation as “fuel to prove that he belonged.” In the NFL 360: I Am Shaquem Griffin video, person after person and child after child who’s missing a limb states “I Am Shaquem Griffin.” Because they are inspired by Shaquem to show that no obstacle is too big. And to NEVER QUIT!
— ESPN (@espn) April 28, 2018
Shaquem has worked hard for this day. He led his college team in tackles and became the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a junior. In 2017, he won the Football Bowl Subdivision Senior CLASS award for outstanding work on the football field, in the classroom and in the community.
CBN News reports that Shaquem sees his purpose from God. “A lot of people in our generation like to make excuses for little things,” Shaquem told the Orlando Sentinel. “It always comes down to the work ethic for me. God put everyone on the earth for a purpose, and I feel like my purpose is to get away from people making excuses.”
Shaquem is out to show people what he can do — not what he’s missing.
“It’s been like that throughout my entire life, where I have to make sure that really showing what I can do on the field can dictate what people see when they see me playing,” Griffin told the Washington Times. “It’s going to be like that this week. As long as I’m going fast and making plays, they’re going to forget how many hands I have.”
“I’m never going to look at myself as a guy with a disability. I’m never going to look at myself as having a handicap because if you have a handicap, that means you’re limited to certain things. I’m not limited to nothing. After this week, everybody will know who I am and what I’m really fighting for.”
This is only half the story. The rest is yet to be written.