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Stafford Under Fire

Rams QB Matt Stafford takes criticism following incident regarding photographer at the Rams' Super Bowl LVI Celebration

The Los Angeles Rams had their Super Bowl celebration this past Wednesday, and a certain video caught the eye of news networks all over the country. The video shows Rams QB Matt Stafford and his wife Kelly Stafford about to have their photo taken from a professional sports photo editor and freelance photographer Kelly Smiley. When Smiley lined up to take the Stafford’s photo she stepped backward and missed the stage, falling several feet before landing on her back. Smiley fractured her spine in the fall and broke both cameras she had on her person. The issue surrounds what followed the fall. Kelly Stafford walked to the edge of the stage to attempt to get aid for Smiley while Matt Stafford turned around (in an attempt) to remove himself from the situation. Stafford was widely criticized on social media and major news networks Thursday surrounding the incident. Twitter was also on fire with commentary regarding the video.

Listen, this isn’t a political issue, this is a pure humanitarian issue. Stafford should have rushed to the aid of Kelly Smiley when this incident occurred, there’s no doubt about it. Fans in defense of Stafford’s actions said he was too intoxicated, or that he didn’t want to get caught in a lawsuit regarding the fall, but these claims don’t hold water. It costs $0 to be a good person, and professional athletes aren’t exempt from this rule. The people understand that Stafford was there to celebrate the Rams’ victory in Super Bowl LVI, but it would have taken little effort to check on the well being of Kelly Smiley. Let this be a lesson to all of us, we truly never know who’s watching. As a (now) World Champion QB, Matt Stafford should expect stray camera lenses to find him, especially at an event such as this. The Stafford’s came out in a statement following the incident claiming they’d pay for Smiley’s medical bills, as well as replacement cameras. I think we can all learn from this incident, just do the right thing.


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