Steelers Under Fire After Mock CPR Celebration in Win Over Browns
After Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith sacked Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson during Pittsburgh’s 28–14 win on Sunday, one of his teammates pretended to give him CPR before he stood up.
Although this celebration isn’t new to the NFL, a number of fans were unhappy to see the Steelers perform it just six days after Bills safety Damar Hamlin was resuscitated on the field during last Monday night’s game.
Highsmith clarified on Monday that he didn’t mean for the celebration to have any connection to Hamlin, and he apologized for how it was done.
“I just don’t want people to think of me that way and think I was doing anything [intentional],” Highsmith said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Because I would never, ever, ever, ever want to do that intentionally, and I never ever would do that. … I just want people to know that I have nothing but love for Damar and his family.”
Then, during the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Packers and Lions, Green Bay linebacker Quay Walker shoved a Detroit athletic trainer and was ejected from the game. He has since publicly apologized, but fans were upset about both instances on Sunday, considering the context of Hamlin’s injury
The league has provided an outpouring of support for Hamlin, who remains in a Cincinnati hospital but continues to improve. Some teams sported shirts saying “Love for Damar” and his No. 3. Others prayed on the field to show support for the player.
Hamlin had his breathing tube removed last week and has been able to communicate with family and teammates. He tweeted throughout Sunday’s NFL games, including many reactions to the Bills game. Doctors have said Hamlin’s neurological function “remains intact.”
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