The Cleveland Browns presented a $25,000 donation for new helmets as part of the HELMETS program, and the guest presenters were Cameron Erving and Robert Griffin III.
The football teams at North Ridgeville in Ohio were surprised when Erving walked to the podium in a classroom, but then came the stunner.
Erving pushed aside a curtain to show a mannequin wearing the new all-white North Ridgeville uniform complete with helmet. When a student approach, the mannequin moved and removed his helmet. It was Griffin and the room exploded with cheers.
“I was a mannequin,” Griffin told the team website. “I had to tap into my inner-mime.”
“Let’s just say it was really hard not to breathe for that long, but it was fun,” Griffin added. “The kids were really excited. I was afraid I was going to head butt the one kid because he was so close. The goal was to scare them, but I didn’t want to hit the kid in the face with the helmet — that probably would have ruined the surprise.”
In order to be eligible for the program, schools must be enrolled in USA Football’s Heads Up Football program that offers coaching clinics on concussion recognition and response, proper equipment and the Heads Up tackling and blocking protocols.
“It’s the most popular sport in the United States of America, and we want to make sure it stays safe so many generations from now can continue to play,” Griffin said. “So this is one step toward that.”
Said Erving: “It just shows how much our owners and coaches and anybody who has anything to do with the Browns want to keep this game going and keep it alive and they also want to promote the safety.
“It means the world because one day my kids are probably going to play football, so it probably means a lot.”
Griffin and Erving and members of the team then hit the Running Man Challenge: