Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster Makes Improbable Claim About His ‘Milk Crate Challenge’

JuJu Smith-Schuster

Joe Sargent/Getty Images JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 21, 2021.

Late last month, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster stirred up the team’s fan base when video emerged showing him taking the ‘Milk Crate Challenge.’

In a video interview with Pro Football Talk that was posted on Thursday, Smith-Schuster claims he didn’t do what Mike Florio describes as the “full” milk crate challenge.

“If you’re actually watching the video, I wasn’t all the way doing it through,” Smith-Schuster told Florio. “That was something that I was just—my boys had my back. Let’s just say that.”

Smith-Schuster is referring to the fact that he had spotters on either side of him, charged with trying to catch him if he took a tumble.

He went on to claim that he didn’t go all the way up and all the way down the pyramid of milk crates, “just the backside down—the three steps.”

It seems highly unlikely that Smith-Schuster would attempt the challenge and do it (less than) halfway. Anyway, doing it partway doesn’t guarantee he wouldn’t have been hurt in a fall.

Fortunately, Smith-Schuster successfully completed the challenge—er, part of it. But countless other individuals haven’t fared as well, with many people sustaining injuries that have landed them in the hospital, injuries like broken bones and torn ligaments—and worse.

TikTok Banned the Milk Crate Challenge in August

That explains why TikTok—a popular social media platform—banned the milk crate challenge from its platform just days before Smith-Schuster’s video appeared online.

“TikTok prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off,” said a statement that TikTok provided at the time.

Coincidentally, Florio had a ready-made opening for asking Smith-Schuster about the Milk Crate Challenge, as Smith-Schuster is promoting the Snickers® Rookie Mistake of the Year program. Never mind that a “rookie mistake” (by Snickers’ definition) isn’t a mistake in judgment, it’s a “funny misstep made when you’re off your game.” But it’s analogous enough to have given Florio an excuse to broach a potentially touchy subject.

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JuJu Smith-Schuster & the ‘Body Shot Challenge’

Anyway, it’s probably not the last time that Smith-Schuster will engage in off-the-field behavior that could potentially harm his health, not to mention his earning power as an NFL wide receiver.

Consider that earlier this year, the 24-year-old—who has 3.1 million followers on TikTok—took the so-called ‘body shot challenge’ from professional boxer Ryan Garcia, a 22-year-old lightweight from California. In that case, Smith-Schuster absorbed 21 rapid fire body blows from Garcia before crumpling to the ground in pain.

Smith-Schuster is Entering Another Contract Year

As for the forthcoming football season, Smith-Schuster told Florio: “I’m safe, I’m healthy and I’ll be playing this Sunday and ready to go.”

That’s a good thing, because the fifth-year veteran is on a one-year, $8 million contract he signed in March. The former 2017 second-round pick (USC) will become an unrestricted free agent again in 2022. He’s coming off a season in which he caught 97 passes for 831 yards and nine touchdowns.

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