Full disclosure, I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan, but from the moment I saw this, there was no denying it’s a problem…
Yesterday, the Steelers beat the Browns in what turned out to be their last game of the season thanks to the ever unreliable Jets and Joe Flacco being unable to overcome 9 Miami Dolphins’ points (I know it was 11 final but the safety on the last play hardly counts), sending the Fins to playoffs in the final AFC spot and the Steelers home for the winter.
It was still a big win as it secured yet another non-losing season for one of the best coaches in the NFL Mike Tomlin, who now has 16 straight seasons at .500 or above to start his coaching career, but unfortunately that isn’t the storyline heading into the offseason.
Just a week ago the NFL, and quite honestly the entire world, was shocked when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed and had to be revived on the field, due to cardiac arrest. While all reports say he’s on the upswing, it was certainly testy for awhile and it sent a shock wave through everyone even remotely connected to the game.
Doctors say the incredible work of the Bills’ medical staff, which provided 9 minutes of CPR, “undoubtedly saved his life”, and have been widely hailed as true heroes for what they were able to do under extremely trying circumstances.
The sight of Damar being worked on brought just about every player in that Cincinnati-Buffalo game to tears and was seared into the minds of millions of people around the planet.
So when this week’s NFL slate kicked off, you would think every player in the league would be aware of the situation and be delicate around certain actions and celebrations on the field.
Well, apparently that wasn’t the case, as Packers’ linebacker Quay Walker was ejected for shoving a member of the Lions’ medical stafflast night, and in an almost equally as dumb move, members of my own beloved Pittsburgh Steelers partook in the most tone-deaf celebration in the history of ever.
Towards the end of the game, Alex Highsmith got a sack of Deshaun Watson and ended belly up on the field.
That’s when a fellow defender comes over to celebrate with him, which typically isn’t an issue, but they happened to choose the absolute wrong one.
The player, who’s number is not seen in the video, begins giving chest compressions, mimicking CPR, to Highsmith.
Of course, this is a very common celebration that every team has used throughout the years, but it’s the timing that makes this terrible.
I get that you get wrapped up in the moment, but come on. Fans everywhere had signs for Damar, who grew up near Pittsburgh and went to the University of Pitt, who plays there home games at Acrisure Stadium, the exact field they were on.
I’m sure there was no harm meant by it, but come on guys, you have to know better.
I feel bad for Alex Highsmith, who seemed to just roll with the celebration once it started, but is now thrust into the spotlight, especially considering the other player has yet to be identified. I believe I remember who it was from watching the game, but on the chance I’m wrong I don’t want to disparage anyone, so we’ll wait and see if something comes out later.
A disappointing end to a somewhat disappointing season.