Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was emotional when discussing the shoulder injury that ended his 2021 season at his JuJu Foundation luau fundraiser for Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania on Monday.
Wednesday night, the Steelers released a video of a portion of Smith-Schuster’s speech.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 14, 2021
“Last night was the hardest night for me because football has done so much for me in my life, more than you guys will ever know. Different things in the world, whether it’s family, friends or any motivation that it may be.
“My stepdad put me in football when I was four years old. And it was fun. You get to hit kids and not get in trouble, right? I always loved the game.
“Last night was hard for me because when I got the call from the doctors, and a shoulder injury, I thought you put it back in and you’ll be fine within two weeks. Our bye week is coming up. I thought I could take two weeks off and come back and play this season, and the doctor called me.
“He was like, ‘Hey, man. We have to do surgery and get a second opinion,’ and said it was a season-ending injury. I sat there and I cried. I cried all night. I cried because I love this game so much, more than anyone will ever know.
“I know the whole social media thing and the whole Tik Tok thing, the dancing all that, I do it, because it’s my personality and I love it, don’t get me wrong. But football will always come first. Without football, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Without football, this wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t have been a role model for a lot of people.
“I cried that night because you just never know what the future holds for you. If I look at the light in front of my and don’t put my head down, just keep pushing forward, and I come back even stronger than I was this year, I know God has a bright future for me.”