On Sunday (September 12th), Fox NFL Sunday correspondent and retired NFL player Michael Strahan had the opportunity to speak to FDNY football players about the emotional game following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Fox Sports: NFL shared on Twitter, “‘We’re taller than the twin towers, and don’t you ever forget it. @michaelstrahan had the opportunity to talk with members of the FDNY. Together they looked back and remembered their fallen brothers that lost their lives on 9/11.”
In the video, Michael Strahan states, “In sports, we talk about brotherhood. We’re not literally asked to put our lives on the line for our teammates. So when tragedy struck the Twin Towers on 9/11, the loss of 22 members of the FDNY bravest football team was nearly indescribable.”
Michael Strahan then sat down with the football players as they reflected on the most infamous day in U.S. history.
Michael Strahan Was One of the New York Giants Players Refusing to Play after the September 11th Attacks
Michael Strahan was one of the New York Giants football players who didn’t want to play football days after the September 11th attacks occurred. During a recent interview with USA Today, former Commissioner of the NFL, Paul Tagliabue, stated, “Jason Sehorn, Strahan, Wayne Chrebet. They were very outspoken about not playing [after September 11th].”
The former Commissioner admitted that other teams had different reactions though. “But when you went to San Diego and Seattle, there was a different attitude. Even Dallas had a different attitude,” Tagliabue recalled. “The other group was, ‘You’ve got to play. In Israel they play through terrorist attacks. The [terrorists] came in and gun down 20 civilians with a machine gun. If you stop, you create the impression for the enemy that you don’t have the will to fight.’”
Tagliabue pushed back though and sided with Michael Strahan and the other New York Giants players. He said in his opinion, 9/11 was worse than any situation the world had seen, including Kennedy, Israel, and World War II. “In my opinion, this is worse than all of them. So, we’re not going to play.”
The NFL ended up suspending the games for a week and adjusted the Super Bowl schedule. When the games resumed, Tagliabue said he and NFLPA chief, Gene Upshaw, attended the Giants’ game at Kansas City. “The Giants came out, and it was the biggest round of applause in the history of Arrowhead Stadium. And it was for the visiting team.”
During the 2001-2002 NFL season, Michael Strahan was named Defensive Player of the Year. The team held a record of 7-9 and even won against the Kansas City Chiefs after returning to the field on September 23rd. Strahan went on to help the Giants win Super Bowl XLII during his final season in 2007.