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Steelers Draw Criticism for CPR Sack Celebration Days after Damar Hamlin Incident

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Steelers OLB Alex Highsmith

A pair of Pittsburgh Steelers teammates are facing backlash for a sack celebration in Sunday afternoon’s win over the Cleveland Browns. With the focus over the last week on Buffalo defensive back and Pittsburgh native Damar Hamlin’s health after a scary scene Monday night, DeMarvin Leal helped fellow defensive lineman Alex Highsmith up after pretending to perform CPR in the late going of the 28-14 home win.

While it doesn’t seem likely there was any intent to make light of the situation, the move can be considered to be tasteless with what happened recently. Considering the circumstances, it’s not a good look for either player.

Steelers sack celebration

Hamlin collapsed on the field during a Monday Night Football matchup at Cincinnati and was later reported to have suffered cardiac arrest. He was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in critical condition but has shown signs of improvement and excellent neurological condition. He’s even tweeted to thank everyone for the support he’s gotten as he’s started the process of recovery.

The entirety of the NFL showed its concern and care for the second-year University of Pittsburgh product over the last few days. Players wore shirts with Hamlin’s name and number during warmups, network broadcasters wore his jersey, and droves of fans held signs wishing him well.

Highsmith had a big day for the Steelers, notching eight stops — six of which were solo — and 2.5 sacks in a must-win clash with a division rival.

There were many other ways that he and Leal could have gone about celebrating the big play. Surely, it would have been wise to read the room.

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