Fireworks safety PSA featuring Jason Pierre-Paul debuts

ByDan Graziano ESPN logo
Thursday, June 30, 2016

Almost one year after losing his right index finger and severely damaging the rest of his right hand in a July 4 fireworks accident, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is trying to help others avoid the same mistake.

In a public service announcement that debuted Thursday on "Good Morning America," Pierre-Paul briefly recounted what went through his mind when a firework went off in his hand and he had to be rushed to the hospital. As he has several times since the accident, he talked about his relationship with his then-newborn son as being at the front of his mind during the ordeal.

Pierre-Paul's two stated tips during the PSA instruct viewers to "keep fireworks away from kids" and to leave fireworks "to the fireworks professionals."

There is a re-enactment of Pierre-Paul's accident in the video. It is followed by a picture of his severely damaged hand, another of him in the hospital with his hand bandaged and one of the football player and his young son.

Pierre-Paul hasn't hidden his damaged hand since he returned to the Giants in the middle of the 2015 season. He has spoken openly about the incident and the challenges the condition of his hand present.

Teammates and coaches say he is a changed man since the incident, and after re-signing with the Giants on a one-year contract, Pierre-Paul hopes to produce at a higher level than he did in the second half of 2015.

The announcement was released days before Independence Day because the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that 70 percent of all injuries with fireworks occur during the 30 days surrounding the holiday. There were 11 deaths and almost 12,000 injuries treated in emergency rooms from fireworks in 2015 -- the highest number in 15 years, according to the commission.

In the meantime, Pierre-Paul has said he will be out of the country for the Fourth of July this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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