A female NFL photographer was injured on Wednesday during the Rams’ Super Bowl celebration in Los Angeles. Kelly Smiley says she suffered a fractured spine falling from the team’s stage in front of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who abruptly turned his back on her rather than offering any help. A move that has gained criticism online.
Unfortunately I fractured my spine https://t.co/LeDjF4EJnp
— Kelly Smiley (@kellysmiley23) February 17, 2022
Smiley was seen on video walking backwards and then falling off the stage outside the LA Memorial Coliseum, where the post-parade rally was held.
Although she fell off screen, a group of concerned onlookers that included Stafford’s wife, Kelly, were seen rushing to Smiley’s attention. However video captured Stafford, saying “oh my God” and did an immediate about-face as Smiley plummeted to the ground, he then retreated in the opposite direction while Kelly tried to help Smiley.
Initially, Smiley – who says on her website that she works as a photo editor for the NFL, NBA and NHL – said she only suffered some broken equipment.
“That’s me,” tweeted Smiley. “Waiting at the ER for X-ray results. Both my cameras broke but I’m ok.”
Later, on Instagram, Smiley showed off the back brace she was given at the hospital, writing that she was “feeling OK” but was “staying the night in the trama (sic) center,” adding ’Unfortunately I fractured my spine.”
Since then, a friend of Smiley’s has started a GoFundMe page to help with her medical costs and to replace the equipment she broke.
“The funds raised by this gofundme will help cover Kelly’s growing medical expenses as well as replace the camera gear that was severely damaged due to her fall,” wrote the friend, identified as Tim Kothlow.
“Since Kelly is a working photographer, she needs this gear to help keep her working after fully recovering.”
“Kelly is loved by all who know her and is a well-respected individual in the photography community,’ Kothlow continued. ‘Please consider donating to this gofundme to help Kelly hit the ground running after she heals up.”
As of Thursday morning, the page had raised $3,500 of its $30,000 goal.