Former UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin’s left hand was amputated when he was 4 years old because of a rare condition called amniotic band syndrome, and he has dealt with so many doubters throughout his life.
“I feel like all the boys and girls out there with birth defects … we have our own little nation, and we’ve got to support each other, because everybody in this world deserves to show what they can do without anybody telling them they can’t,” Griffin said in his letter to GMs last month via The Players’ Tribune.
In the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday, the Seattle Seahawks selected him. He’ll now join his twin brother, a cornerback the Seahawks picked in the third round last year, in Seattle.
The NFL world was inspired. Griffin’s new teammate QB Russell Wilson tweeted that he has “chills.”
The Griffin brothers refused to separate themselves with all they’ve done in life & the Seahawks kept that tradition alive, that’s one amazing story that’s just beginning 💯
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) April 28, 2018
Congratulations @Shaquemgriffin! You’re not only an incredible football player you’re an incredible inspiration to everyone that has ever been told they CAN’T accomplish their dreams. This is one of the best moments in sports history & I wish you much success in your NFL career!!
— Thomas Q. Jones (@ThomasJonesRB) April 28, 2018
Shaquem Griffin is a great story. Special guy. But I love this pick because…dude can BALL.
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) April 28, 2018
Shaquem Griffin tells ESPN after he got drafted by Seattle. “I can’t breathe.” That’s the only time you’ll hear him say he can’t do something.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) April 28, 2018
Shaquem Griffin’s going to be one of those dudes where three years from now, every anonymous GM is going to be saying how they were sure he was going to be a star and had a first-round grade on him
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) April 28, 2018