Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku revealed Wednesday that he suffered serious facial injuries in a home fire pit incident and is hoping to raise money for burn victims and research.
In a statement posted to the American Burn Association and on his own social media, the 27-year-old New Jersey native launched a merchandise brand called “Withstand” to raise the funds.
“I want to use my platform to help bring awareness to a very common problem and shed some positive light on this unfortunate incident,” Njoku said.
The incident occurred in Cleveland on Sept. 29, but Njoku still attended the Browns’ Week 4 game against the Baltimore Ravens two days later, said Brandon Austin, co-founder of player merchandise promoter Millions. .
Njoku wore a full face mask when he appeared at the stadium during the Oct. 1 game. He has since posted a photo of himself without a mask, showing extensive burns.
Fundraising merchandise includes T-shirts with an image of Njoku wearing a mask at the Ravens-Browns game.
“I know firsthand how suddenly a life can change due to burn injuries,” Njoku said in a statement released by the American Burn Association.
Players thank University Hospital doctors Cleveland Medical Center said the medical staff there “were instrumental in my recovery and I am forever grateful for their expertise and care.”
The Browns were off last week and returned to action on Sunday, beating the San Francisco 49ers 5-0 at home.
“We are pleased to have an enthusiastic athlete like David Njoku support us in our efforts to bring attention to critical issues related to burns,” said Kimberly Hoarle, CEO of the American Burn Association. .”
“His willingness to turn personal setbacks into opportunities for positive change is truly commendable. Together we hope to strengthen burn prevention efforts and make a lasting impact on burn survivors and their families.”