Eight-year-olds can say a whole lot of issues they do not imply. However when twins Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin have been that age, they have been very severe a few pact they made.
They agreed that, after they grew up, they might stay collectively, marry twins, have youngsters, and lift their youngsters in the identical home. In addition they swore they might play on the identical soccer staff. The latter was a promise they may very well be forgiven for breaking—particularly contemplating that Shaquem solely has one hand.
“We meant each phrase of it,” Shaquill instructed 60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi.
And so they caught to it.
The brothers performed soccer collectively in highschool, however when it got here time for school, Shaquill was receiving tempting provides, together with one to play at Harvard. However he returned to his pact; he would not go with out his twin. Shaquem admitted to Alfonsi that he in all probability would have been offended if Shaquill had gone.
Lastly, the College of Central Florida gave the brothers what they wished: a pair of scholarships. Shaquill graduated and have become a star rookie for the Seattle Seahawks. Shaquem, nonetheless on his school staff, was enjoying effectively too; he was named defensive participant of the yr in his convention. However when Shaquem wasn’t invited to the NFL mix, a showcase for gamers hoping to be drafted into the league, Shaquill once more remembered his promise. He publicly appealed to the NFL and privately lobbied his coaches in Seattle to present Shaquem a spot.
On the mix in March, Shaquem ran the quickest 40-yard sprint ever for a linebacker on the tryout. Nonetheless, Alfonsi and 60 Minutes producer Man Campanile weren’t positive they’d a narrative simply but.
“I am like, ‘Have a look at this. That is wonderful,'” Alfonsi tells 60 Minutes Time beyond regulation’s Ann Silvio within the video above. “He is like, ‘Yeah, however let’s have a look at. Does he make the staff?'”
In April, the Griffin brothers’ pact got here to fruition: The Seattle Seahawks, Shaquill’s staff, drafted Shaquem.
In September, Alfonsi and Campanile’s 60 Minutes story was additionally realized: Shaquem was a starter within the first sport of his NFL profession and made historical past as the primary one-handed participant to play within the league within the trendy period.
Shaquem’s left hand was amputated when he was 4 years previous. It had been deformed in utero by a beginning abnormality often known as amniotic band syndrome. Fibrous string-like bands of tissue constricted his fingers, and the undeveloped hand brought about Shaquem ache till medical doctors eliminated it.
However do not name it a “incapacity.” Nobody within the Griffin household does, nor do they use the phrase “handicapped.”
“That is vocabulary that is alien to the Griffin household,” Campanile stated.
Shaquem and Shaquill’s dad and mom, Terry and Tangie Griffin, have proven their sons powerful love, telling Alfonsi they would not have tolerated self-pity from Shaquem. They handled the boys equally, wanting Shaquem to do every little thing his brother might do. When Alfonsi requested how Shaquem realized to catch a ball with just one hand, Terry defined that, getting hit within the face sufficient instances motivated his son to determine it out.
Terry and Tangie’s classes in love additionally included assuring their sons’ focus was on one another. When Shaquem thought-about quitting soccer in school, Tangie instructed him he could not.
“I stated, ‘Your brother sacrificed rather a lot,'” she instructed Alfonsi. “‘He is enjoying. He is turned down a whole lot of faculties for you. Now, you are going to should proceed to sacrifice…You are going to keep there, and you are going to assist him.'”
That sacrifice and dedication to one another is what makes Shaquem’s outstanding story additionally one about Shaquill, Campanile stated.
“This story’s about household,” he stated. “It is about concord, about this dedication that two little boys made of their bed room in St. Petersburg, Florida: ‘We will stick collectively, come hell or excessive water.'”
To observe Sharyn Alfonsi’s 60 Minutes report on Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin,
The video above was produced by Ann Silvio and Lisa Orlando. It was edited by Lisa Orlando.
Soccer footage courtesy of UCF Athletics