Steelers’ Alex Highsmith apologizes for CPR sack celebration, says it wasn’t intentional

 

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith apologized for the CPR sack celebration that he was a part of toward the end of the team’s win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Steelers defensive end Demarvin Leal came over to Highsmith after he sacked Deshaun Watson and pretended to give him chest compressions. The celebration was described as tone-deaf as it came only days after Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills suffered cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field during a game.

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith (56) during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.
(AP Photo/Matt Freed)

Highsmith told reporters Monday he didn’t make the connection until the game was over and he saw the clip make the rounds on social media.

“I just don’t want people to think of me that way and think I was doing anything [intentional],” the Steelers linebacker said via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Because I would never, ever, ever, ever want to do that intentionally, and I never, ever would do that.”

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.
(AP Photo/Don Wright)

He added, “I just want people to know that I have nothing but love for Damar and his family. When that happened, I was shook for a couple days. Me and my wife, we were watching the game, we immediately saw it and intentionally started praying, intentionally prayed for him, his parents, the doctors, the nurses. Because me and her, we’re both followers of Christ. We both believe that prayer is powerful, and I’m just thankful for the miraculous work God has done with Damar’s life. I just want people to know that there was nothing intentional about that. It was never planned. None of that.”

Doctors who took care of Hamlin at the University of Cincinnati Medical center offered a positive update on the Bills safety on Monday.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson scrambles out of the pocket with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith defending during the second half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.
(AP Photo/Don Wright)

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The physicians said Hamlin was discharged from the hospital and transferred to a hospital in Buffalo.