On Wednesday, linebacker Shaquem Griffin announced his retirement from the NFL, writing for The Players’ Tribune that he is looking forward to helping others as a member of the NFL Legends Community.
Griffin, who had his left hand amputated at the age of four due to amniotic band syndrome, a congenital condition, became the NFL’s first player with one hand when the Seattle Seahawks drafted him in the fifth round in 2018. It reunited him with his twin brother, Shaquill, who was then the starting left cornerback for the Seahawks.
Griffin was congratulated on his retirement by the NFL, who called him “a true inspiration.”
The Seahawks waived Shaquem Griffin in 2020, and he said Wednesday that his brother stayed with him and skipped practise the next day. His main concern was how others would perceive him.
“I didn’t want anyone to think, “Oh, the one-handed player got cut.” I’m not into sympathy, man. I don’t like it when people feel sorry for me “He wrote something. “But I never thought that would be the end of my NFL career.”
Griffin, 27, was signed to the Seahawks’ practise squad after being waived and later promoted to the active roster. In three seasons with the Seahawks, he appeared in 46 games and had nine tackles, three quarterback hits, and a sack. Griffin also had a sack of Aaron Rodgers in the 2019 season’s divisional round, resulting in a memorable moment of Shaquem taking down the Green Bay Packers quarterback just before Shaquill arrived, followed by the brothers celebrating with each other.
Griffin’s retirement was celebrated by the Seahawks on Wednesday, with the team tweeting, “Your story will be remembered for generations.”
Griffin signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins last year but was released prior to the start of the season. He had tryouts with several other teams after that, but he realised on Wednesday that he only wanted to play in the NFL if he could do so alongside his brother, who is now a free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I worked out for the Cardinals, Titans, and Jets before getting calls from Buffalo, Dallas, and Atlanta. But something struck me after that Jets workout. All this travelling, working out for teams, trying to get somewhere, trying to hang on wasn’t what I was looking for. Football had already given me so much, and all I wanted from the game was to play with my brother again “He wrote something.
“Football was always Plan B,” he said in his Players’ Tribune piece.
Griffin claimed that his father told him and his brother that “Plan A was to go to college, get an education, and do something that would have a positive impact on the world.”
He stated that after meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the Super Bowl, he was invited to join the NFL Legends Community, and it was during a conversation with Goodell and other former players in the programme that he realised the positive impact he can have on others.
“I know the positive effect I’m having on others,” Griffin wrote. “I’m speaking at colleges and universities, talking to football teams and even presenting to corporate America about never doubting yourself and tirelessly pursuing your dreams. People at companies want to hear what I have to say when actually I’m the one that can learn so much from them. It’s crazy.”
Griffin thanked former UCF coach Scott Frost for giving him the opportunity to play for the Knights, as well as Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and his staff, as well as former Seahawks teammates Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, for their mentorship.
He saved his final words of gratitude for his brother.
“‘We live through each other,’ we’ve always said.” That will not change. “I’m still with you, living through you every time you step onto the field,” he wrote.
“So keep on ballin’. Continue to follow your dreams. We’ve been told countless times, and it still humbles me every time I hear it, that a movie should be made about our journey together, and what we’ve been through, together, always inseparable. Perhaps that day will come sooner rather than later. But, in the meantime, I’m going to go build something new so that I can do what Dad always told us to do:
leave the world a better place than when we found it.
“On to Plan A.”