Shaquem Griffin serves as an inspiration to many people who are missing limbs, and for good reason. The Seattle Seahawks linebacker who is missing his left hand was selected in the fifth-round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Thanks to his success, kids with physical differences are realizing that they, too, can reach the pinnacle of professional sports or any other interest for that matter. That’s why when an 11-year-old boy from California named Daniel received a Griffin jersey, he broke down in tears, and the clip went viral.
“I still watch it, and I still cry,” his mother, Maylissa, told Q13Fox.
Griffin eventually saw Daniel’s heartwarming reaction to receiving the jersey thanks to a Seahawks fan showing him the clip after Seattle’s win over Oakland in London. So, Griffin filmed a birthday message for the boy.
“Hopefully we can get you down to a game or something. Hopefully I get to meet you one day,” he said.
— Justin Smith (@just10ized) October 19, 2018
Daniel, who also plays football, will travel to Seattle with his family to watch Griffin and the rest of the Seahawks take on the 49ers on Dec. 2.
And who better for Daniel to look up to than Griffin, who penned a letter to general managers, which was published in the Player’s Tribune before he was drafted.
“I’m not going to get into an explanation of the condition I was born with that prevented the fingers of my left hand from fully developing,” he wrote. “Or talk about the time when I was four years old and I tried to cut my own fingers off with a kitchen knife because I was in constant pain. Or about when I got my left hand amputated shortly after. That’s stuff you probably already know about anyway — and if you don’t, you can Google it. The story is out there.
“And it’s not some sob story or anything like that. It’s not even a sad story — at least not to me.
“It’s just … my story.
“I’m blessed to have thick skin. But I’m even more blessed to have a family that never let me make excuses and who raised me to never listen to anybody who told me I couldn’t do something — especially because of my hand.”