NFL Star Jason Pierre-Paul Talks Blowing Off His Fingers In A Fireworks Safety PSA

This Fourth of July, don’t be like Jason Pierre-Paul.

NFL Star Jason Pierre-Paul Talks Blowing Off His Fingers In A Fireworks Safety PSA

WHAT: A PSA urging fireworks safety, starring one of the more famous victims of a fireworks-related accident in recent years.

WHO: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission created the ad, with New York Giants’ pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul showing off exactly what can happen if you light a firecracker you’re not prepared to throw.

WHY WE CARE: Fireworks safety is an under-discussed issue. More than 10,000 people are injured by fireworks every year around this time of year, and Jason Pierre-Paul can speak to the problem with some authority. Last year, on the Fourth of July, he lost a few fingers off his right hand thanks to an ill-prepared firecracker. The star defensive end bounced back on the field–he returned to the field halfway through the 2015 season despite having his index finger amputated in the off-season–and signed a $10.1 million deal to return to the Giants after the season. But while Pierre-Paul is an example of how a fireworks safety accident might not end your career, it’s also something that it’s pretty gruesome to look at. The public service ad from the USCPSC is pretty low-rent–it looks like maybe an intern shot it on a smartphone–but you don’t need slick packaging when your point is “fireworks are dangerous,” and you’ve got an NFL star waving his mangled digits in front of the camera to drive that point home. It’s brave of Pierre-Paul to showcase his accident so boldly, but hopefully it helps drive down that number of injuries by a few.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.