Posted in disability heroes, Disability sterotypes

“Like I was defective or something…”

Shaquem Griffin does not think of himself as an inspiring figure. He just wants to play football like his twin brother. The main differnce between them is unlike his brother, Shaquem has only one hand.

Shaquem was born with a birth defect that necessitated his hand being amputated when he was four years old. This did not stop him from doing what he wanted to do, which was play football. It also didn’t deter him when a coach from an opposing team told him, “You need two hands to play football.”

“It was like I was defective or something,” Shaquem said of that comment. But he shrugged it off and kept playing.

And now he is playing on the Seattle Seahawks. As Frank Bruni of the New York Times says below:

“In this rancorous country, we’re buffeted more than usual by reminders of humanity at its worst. Griffin is a glimpse of us at our best — of our ability to reframe hardship as challenge, tap extraordinary reserves of determination and achieve not just success but grace.’

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/18/opinion/shaquem-griffin-football-amputee.html

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I am an attorney with a disability, and I co-teach a class on disability law. But because laws are just words, I would like to learn and convey more of the real world of living with a disability in the 21st Century.

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