Fans denounce Steelers’ behavior after apparent mock CPR celebration

PITTSBURGH — An on-field celebration after a successful sack has attracted public criticism of the Steelers.

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With less than 2 minutes left in the game Sunday, Pittsburgh Steeler Alex Highsmith tackled Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. In a video posted to social media by several fans, a teammate comes up to Highsmith and, before helping him stand, appears to mimic performing CPR on him.

Cameras didn’t catch how many Steelers players performed the mock CPR, WNBC reported.

Fans were quick to denounce the move, with one person who posted a clip of the celebration saying, “Classless Steelers with the CPR celebration.”

Other fans joined in, saying “Glad they got eliminated,” PennLive reported. “Total trash,” said another.

A Steelers fan account defended the players online, saying, “Fans who haven’t watched much of the Steelers haven’t seen them do the CPR celebration before, but think it was bad timing. Steelers do it all the time prior to Hamlin’s situation. They weren’t intending to mock Damar Hamlin whatsoever.”

The move came one week after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field seconds after a tackle. Hamlin remains in a Cincinnati hospital, where he live-tweeted as his team beat the Patriots on Sunday.

Highsmith himself has been supportive of Hamlin on Twitter. On Sunday afternoon he shared a photo of the Steelers and Browns gathered in prayer before the game.