They could be the most dynamic duo in the NFL. On the field, they’re havoc-wrecking defensive disruptors for the the Seattle Seahawks. Off, they’re charismatic and charming—times two. Their journey to stardom has been an incredible one, as Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin’s new book, Inseparable: How Family and Sacrifice Forged a Path to the NFL, makes clear. Shaquem is an inspiration to millions, having lost his left hand at the age of four and gone on to a successful career as a linebacker. And through it all, cornerback Shaquill has been at his side. Ovation caught up with the twins at the ESPY Awards in L.A. last July to talk about their publishing debut—and what’s next for the brothers.
How did you find time to write the book during the NFL season?
Shaquill: We worked with a writer, Mark Schlabach. He would call every Tuesday, our only off day, and we spent multiple hours just pouring everything out to him. I continue to tell people it was a very therapeutic process because you have to be totally honest when it comes to writing a book. You can’t leave anything out. And there’s some things that you haven’t discussed in years that you’ve been holding on to that you need to disclose if you really want the book to be good and if you want people to really understand and relate to you. So, there were times when it was emotional.
Shaquem: I was extremely nervous because I didn’t know how receptive everybody was going to be toward the book. So when it got to the point of talking about losing my hand, I just thought, why not, let it all out. I think it was time for everybody to hear the full story and learn about the adversity we went through and the obstacles we overcame.
You played together in high school, at the University of Central Florida, and now with the Seahawks. What are the odds you’ll have to play on different teams at some point?
Shaquem: I will say 50 percent. You never know how it works out, but I can say we will do anything we can in our power to stay where we are. We’ll fight for each other to stick together. So much is out of our control, but we’ll control what we can.
Shaquill: I’d say there’s a 93 percent chance we play on different teams at some point in our careers, but I’ll just meet him at the house in Florida in the off-season. We are enjoying our time together and trying to live in the present.
You both recently lost more than 10 pounds each. What is your one cheat meal?
Shaquill: For me, there’s always going to be cheesecake. And wings. And I’d do some soul food and fried chicken. I’m going to be eating something that might put a couple of pounds on me that I’ll commit to losing later.
Shaquem: The first week when we did the diet, we had a hard time figuring out what to have for a cheat meal. Now we just go for it. A burger, wings, and, really, the big thing for me is sweets.
Inseparable is a hit. Have you thought about who you would want to play you in the movie version?
Shaquem: Michael B. Jordan. He has to do it for sure.
Shaquill: I don’t know how Michael B. Jordan would look with a sloppy bun. I actually want to play myself when the story is about playing in college and then the NFL. That might be my chance to start my acting career. I feel I can do a pretty good job of playing myself. I don’t know how I could mess that up!