Grab many tissues, folks.
On Saturday, Shaquem Griffin was named the winner of Gillette’s “Game Changer” award during the NFL Honors awards show. The award is presented to a person who is committed to moving the game forward and has positively contributed to the sport and his or her community.
Per the NFL’s press release:
Griffin was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, a condition in which his left hand developed irregularly. At the age of four, Griffin had his left hand amputated. This setback did not discourage Shaquem and his twin brother, Shaquill from their dream of playing professional sports together. Growing up in Central Florida, Griffin ran track and played baseball and football. Despite his disability, Griffin’s football skills caught the attention of the University of Central Florida football program, where he and Shaquill both played.
In the 2018 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks drafted Shaquem, the team his brother was already a member of, making their childhood dream a reality. Griffin has been an inspiration to young athletes all over the world, especially those who also suffer from Amniotic Band Syndrome, showing that anyone with determination can participate in any sport they set their mind to.
That was just the start of his night.
When the Seattle Seahawks rookie linebacker made it on stage, he delivered one of the most memorable speeches of the entire night as he passionately spoke from the heart about overcoming obstacles.