Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has all sorts of feelings about the Fourth of July. It was on this day in 2015 that JPP’s life changed forever when he lost much of his right hand due to a fireworks accident.
On the third anniversary of the unfortunate incident, Pierre-Paul posted extremely graphic pictures of his mangled right hand shortly after his mishap on his Instagram. He also added a message for people planning to celebrate the holiday with fireworks to be safe:
“It’s been [three years] since my accident and I can truly say I’m very blessed and fortunate to be where I am in life,” Pierre-Paul wrote. “Looking at these pictures seems unreal and crazy. How your life can change in the blink of an eye. One of the greatest American traditions in celebrating 4th of July is with fireworks. Unfortunately, tomorrow someone will be injured playing with fireworks. We are celebrating the birthday of our great nation. I’m glad to still be alive to show you the outcome of what happened to me. Please don’t feel sorry for me, trust me your boy fine even with missing fingers lol. Be safe out there otherwise, this can be you.”
To Pierre-Paul’s immense credit, he’s remained a productive pass rusher after missing half of the 2015 season — and most of his hand — due to the injury. In the past two seasons, he’s racked up 15.5 sacks in 28 games. However, it doesn’t change the fact that his career － and his life － could’ve been so different had he not suffered his unfortunate accident.
At least it appears that JPP has learned to make peace with the consequences of his actions. He is also doing the laudable thing of spreading the word of safety to prevent the same horrifying fate from happening to others.