Fireworks Can Be Fun, Until They’re Not
Another tragedy fell upon the sports world, as America celebrated its independence this weekend. Back in 2015, then New York Giants defensive end, Jason Pierre-Paul nearly blew off his hand in the late hours of his July 4th celebration, suffering an injury that almost cost him his career. Sunday, fireworks claimed another sports world victim, this time causing death.
According to reports in the Athletic and other news outlets, Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks died following a fireworks accident on Sunday in Novi, Mich. Apparently, the police in Michigan are still investigating the incident, but the Oakland County coroner’s office ruled Kivlenieks’ death as "accidental." According to reports, his death was the result of a “fireworks mortar blast, chest trauma.” He was apparently sitting in a hot tub when struck by the deadly explosive device.
Matiss Kivlenieks isn't really a household name to even the biggest NHL fans. The young Latvian goalie was expected to challenge for a regular NHL job next season. He was just 24 years old.
Jason Pierre-Paul was lucky to survive his encounter with legally purchased fireworks. JPP, was fortunate to be able to continue his professional football career in the NFL, now with the Tampa Bay Bucs.
There are two distinct differences in the aforementioned fireworks accidents, Pierre-Paul was the person igniting the the explosives. Matiss Kivlenieks was sitting in a hot tub when an ignited firework malfunctioned and started firing at guests. When the goalie attempted to get to safety with others, he apparently was struck by the explosive.
This isn't a public service announcement about fireworks, to each their own. However, you are literally playing with fire and if you aren't a professional, is the risk worth the reward to you and the people around you? That question will be asked by a lot more sports fans following this latest tragedy.