WATCH: Jason Pierre-Paul shows mangled hand in PSA for fireworks safety
The Giants defensive end tells his story of how a fireworks accident altered his life
It feels longer, but it was only a year ago when Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a life-changing injury on Fourth of July weekend. The Giants defensive end was involved in a fireworks accident that cost him one finger and mangled another. It was so bad, doctors wanted to amputate his hand.
Now, ahead of the 2016 holiday weekend, Pierre-Paul is speaking out for fireworks safety in a new public service announcement that debuted on Thursday morning during "Good Morning America."
In the PSA, JPP details what happened during his accident:
"So Fourth of July, I lit up a firework, thought I could throw it away real quick and in a split second blew off my whole hand just right there," Pierre-Paul says. "On the way to the hospital, all I could do is think about was my son and was I going to make it? Now I'm just truly, truly blessed to be alive. Now when I look at fireworks I think about the safety."
More impactful was Pierre-Paul's decision to show his mangled hand on camera.
He also reminds everyone to "keep fireworks away from kids" and to let fireworks professionals handle the explosives. It's pretty good advice!
Pierre-Paul's injury resulted in a contentious 2015 offseason. The Giants weren't sure whether he would be able to play again. He eventually returned to the team, staying on for his one-year, franchise deal.
He clearly wasn't the same player, though, having to deal with having a club on his hand and fighting through the issues inherently involved in adjusting your game to only having one fully functional hand. He played in eight total games in 2015, recording just a single sack.
Instead of a robust free-agent market for a 27-year-old freak pass rusher, JPP was forced to return to the Giants on a one-year deal with a real opportunity to prove he's still an upper-echelon pass rusher in 2016.
JPP was willing to speak out publicly about the incident and he's shown a willingness to step forward and help kids. Maybe he is changed. At the very least you can bet his 2016 Fourth will be fireworks free.
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