"The whole ride, I wasn't in pain, I was just saying, 'I messed up, I messed up..."
New York Giants prized pass rusher, Jason Pierre-Paul, relives the painful experience of a firework explosion in 2015 that nearly cost him his career - and potentially his life in an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated.
"Maybe my career could be over, but you know I was looking past that, I was thinking more of my family, and are they going to be okay, you know?"
Pierre-Paul has owned his mistake, going so far as to delete from his phone and social-media feeds every image of himself from the days when he had all 10 digits. "I could dwell on it, like, Damn, I wish I had that finger," he says, "but when I look in the mirror, I'm happy. Thank the Lord-it could have been worse."
Fireworks are synonymous with Independence Day, however statistics show that they are also synonymous with injury, and sometimes fatality. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that in 22% of firework related fatalities, the victims were not the users. Pierre-Paul's story is one that reminds us the full weight of every decision we make - and how they can affect those around us.
Due to graphic content and profanity, we have chosen not to embed Pierre-Paul's video interview in this article. However, it is a powerful testament; if you are comfortable knowing that contents may be offensive to some, you can find the full Sports Illustrated interview here.
The USIC Safety Team does an incredible job of using statistical information to put safety into perspective for our employees. It is our pleasure to share this information with you, with hope that we can help prevent even just one public injury this 4th of July.
"The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people."
Your communities are our communities. From the entire USIC Family of Companies, we express our sincerest gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy - and the sacrifices of the men and women who have made, and continue to make that possible, every day.
Have a happy, safe Independence Day - and LIVE the Safe Life.