On Monday video emerged of what appears to be Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster taking the so-called ‘milk crate challenge.’ If you’re unaware of this particular Internet challenge, it involves stacking milk crates (higher and higher with each step) and then attempting to walk up-and-down the pyramid, which is always a precarious proposition.
The JuJu Smith-Schuster clip comes courtesy of Chris Mack, co-host of the Fan Morning Show on 93.7 FM in Pittsburgh.
As you have seen, Smith-Schuster, who is 24, successfully completed the challenge. But countless other individuals haven’t been so lucky—and many have sustained major physical injuries that have landed them in the Emergency Room.
For their part, doctors have warned that broken bones, torn ligaments, paralysis and death are among the endless array of possible injuries.
Shawn Anthony, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, recently told the Washington Post that “colleagues from across the country are reporting on online forums that they have seen challenge participants with a variety of injuries, including shoulder dislocations and rotator-cuff tears, ACL and meniscus tears, broken wrists and even spinal-cord injuries.
“It’s perhaps even worse than falling from a ladder,” Anthony added, saying, “It’s very difficult to brace yourself from the falls I’ve seen in these videos. They’re putting their joints at an even higher risk for injury.”
TikTok Has Banned the Milk Crate Challenge
This helps explain why the popular social media platform TikTok banned the milk crate challenge from its platform earlier this week.
“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,” read a statement from TikTok that was provided to USA Today.
As for Smith-Schuster—who has 3.1 million followers on TikTok—it’s not the first time he has engaged in potentially dangerous behavior that jeopardizes his health and earning power as an NFL wide receiver.
Smith-Schuster Took the ‘Body Shot Challenge’ Too
Earlier this year JuJu Smith-Schuster took the ‘body shot challenge’ from professional boxer Ryan Garcia.
In that video, Smith-Schuster is seen taking rapid fire body blows from the 22-year-old Garcia, who delivers a series of 18 lefts and three rights before the fifth-year Steelers wide receiver finally falls to the ground.
At least in that particular instance, Smith-Schuster was wearing safety gear.
But one wonders if risky, off-the-field behavior has compromised—and has the potential to continue to compromise—his pro football earnings. When Smith-Schuster was an unrestricted free agent earlier this year, he didn’t receive the kind of uber-lucrative long-term contract offers he might have expected. In the end, he rejected a one-year deal from the Baltimore Ravens to return to the Steelers on a one-year, $8 million contract.
Smith-Schuster was selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft (No. 62 overall) out of USC. In his first four seasons in the NFL, he had 308 receptions for 3,726 yards and 26 touchdown receptions. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent again in 2022.
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