A photographer shooting the Rams' Super Bowl celebration in Los Angeles on Wednesday suffered a brutal fall and broke her spine right in front of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who appeared to immediately turn his back and walk away without showing any signs of shock or sympathy. The photographer was identified as Kelly Smiley, who is now mending her fractured spine.
Interestingly, Smiley, a photographer for Crypto.com Arena, the Los Angeles Kings, and the Anaheim Ducks, was seen on camera collapsing right in front of Stafford and his wife Kelly. The video of the incident has gone viral now, with many slamming Stafford for being insensitive and emotionless.
Smiley was seen on video walking backwards when she suddenly fell off the stage outside the LA Memorial Coliseum, where the post-parade rally was held on Wednesday afternoon. Despite the fact that she had faded from view, the camera captured a group of worried spectators, including Stafford's wife, Kelly, rushing to Smiley's help.
However, Stafford himself looked completely unmoved. "Oh my," Stafford appears to say before turning, taking a swig of water and walking away. The clip then cuts away. It's unclear whether Stafford returned.
In a longer video of the entire parade posted to YouTube, it appeared that Kelly had handed her phone to Smiley to take a photo of the couple. Smiley fell backwards as she was preparing to take the picture.
What transpired in the moments following the fall is unknown, but Smiley resorted to social media to describe her condition. Smiley, who works as a photo editor for the NFL, NBA, and NHL, claimed at first that she had merely suffered some broken equipment. However, she later spoke at length about the horrible experience.
Talking about the brutal fall, Smiley took to Instagram where she shared her experience. She wrote on Instagram that she was "feeling OK" but was "staying the night at the trama (sic) centre,".
"Unfortunately I fractured my spine," she wrote in the post. A GoFundMe page was set up to help with her recuperation.
"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."
However, Stafford was slammed for his gesture, while many sympathized with Smiley. "How do you watch a person fall like that and just walk away?" tweeted WBZ news anchor Liam Martin.
Stafford, on the other hand, had a great day at the parade. He swigged tequila during the parade and even took a ribbing from last year's Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, who was mocked for getting so drunk at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers victory boat parade that he required assistance to walk.
"Mix in a water Matt...trust me," Brady wrote on Twitter.
Stafford, seated atop a double-decker bus with wife Kelly, was seen enjoying a cigar and a beer during the parade. At one point, retiree Tom Brady shared a word of advice for the Rams quarterback on Twitter.