Shaquem Griffin’s Draft into the NFL and what it means for the Amputee Community

Amputee Coalition of Toronto founder, Aristotle Domingo, sat down for a live interview with Ben Mulroney on a local Toronto morning show Your Morning on CTV on Monday, April 30th.  The two discussed what upper-limb amputee Shaquem Griffin and his draft into the NFL means for the amputee community. Click on the video below to watch the interview (Credit: Your Morning).

My Thoughts

When Ben asked what I thought this meant, I said that “I think it’s great. It highlights what we can do. It doesn’t really matter if you are missing a limb or not. You do your best and  you try out and you go for it. Being seen in the media, being represented more in mainstream sports is very important. I mean, we can’t just be celebrated every four years during the Paralympic Games, right?”

I truly believe that he could not have happened at a better time. April is Limb Loss Awareness Month and this gesture is probably one of the best ways to cap off the month. Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks in not only drafting a player who is at the top of his game but opening the doors to more inclusiveness in mainstream sports. With the success of the Invictus Games held here in Toronto in 2017 and the 2018 Paralympic Games, my hope this inclusion only gets bigger and bigger and we see more amputee athletes in mainstream sports.

How can we bring more awareness and inclusiveness?

I fumbled a little bit while responding to this question as my brain flooded with hundreds of thoughts and edit what I could say in 30 seconds (there’s a lot of pressure under all those lights, cameras and a big TV personality!). The four key things I wish came through in the interview were the following:

  • More education & preventative care for patients
  • Updated guidelines for devices
  • Opportunities, funding & sports development for adaptive athletes
  • Representation (TV, movies, ads, print)

ACT’s aim is to advocate, educate and demonstrate that there is life after amputation. We strive to ensure that we are actively showing other amputees that we are out here and that we are represented. Regardless of how big or how small we want to make sure that amputees are highlighted. Shaquem Griffin’s draft into the NFL is about crossing boundaries by going after your dreams and dedication to his sport. As Shaquem Griffin himself puts it – “I want to show the entire world, no matter [if you have] one hand, two hands, if you’re a ballplayer,  you just play ball”.

You can watch the clip of the interview here.


Amputee Coalition of Toronto welcomes all amputees in Toronto and the surrounding GTA to join our support group for more information on monthly meetups, upcoming events, and a safe space to share your journey. We’re in this together!

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