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Shaquem Griffin


I am not a huge football fan but my dad and sister most definitely are. My sister has been a Seahawks fan as long as I can remember. She loves the game so much that she once called me and said she was going on a first date, but didn't think it was promising because he wasn’t a fan of the NFL. With complete sincerity she said, “What would he do every Sunday while I watch football?” I laughed but knew there was truth in her statement. Recently, she again called to tell me that Shaquem Griffin had been drafted by the Seahawks. Not knowing who he was she told me, “He is exactly what Break the Norm is all about.”


Shaquem Griffin is one of the most popular topics in professional football. He is a one handed  linebacker that was just drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. He was born with amniotic band syndrome and at the age of four his parents made the decision to have his left hand amputated. Though he grew up without a left hand, it never stopped him from doing, trying or achieving what other people said he couldn’t do.


Being a one handed football player in the NFL is not the only thing that makes this guy unique. Shaquem is a twin and his brother Shaquill also plays for the Seahawks. Like any sibling rivalry, they grew up competing against one another and pushing each other to be better, faster and stronger. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Shaquill said to his brother, “You are now fighting for way more than to just be a professional football player. If you have any doubt that you want to give up than you are giving up on everyone. You are now fighting for everyone.” You can tell from the interview that they have supported and encouraged one another their entire lives.


Shaquem’s story of perseverance demonstrates what it means to never give up. As a freshman, he redshirted at the University of Central Florida but he kept working at it and practicing hard. According to Shaquem in the Players Tribune, “it was the newly appointed head coach Scott Frost, that brought me back into the light...He gave me the opportunity I had been waiting for ever since I first arrived at UCF. And I took advantage of it." In 2016, Shaquem was awarded the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year and in 2018 he was named the Peach Bowl Defensive MVP.


As I learn more about Shaquem Griffin, my respect for him continues to grow. My sister was spot on when she said, “He is what Break the Norm is all about”. He has “perserdurance”, he continually had to face doubters and believe in himself. It is because of these actions that he has made it to the NFL, despite the opinions of all his critics. I am excited to continue to follow his journey and I think he might be enough reason for me to even watch a game.


It is time for you to be like Shaquem and defy the odds. It is time for you to put your head down and do the hard work. If you are ready, I want to chat with you. Like Shaquem, sometimes a coach that believes in you can be the difference between success and defeat. Let's Chat


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