Matthew Stafford, Rams to pay for NFL photographer’s medical bills after brutal fall off stage during parade

A photographer who was working in Los Angeles for the Rams Super Bowl parade on Wednesday apparently suffered a major injury after she fell off the stage near the end of the day’s festivities. 

The photographer was Kelly Smiley, and as the parade was coming to an end, it appears that Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly, asked Smiley to take a picture of them. In the live feed of the incident, which aired on Fox 11 in Los Angeles, Smiley was on the main stage and was attempting to take a cell phone picture of the Staffords and as that was happening, she took a few steps back, but didn’t realize she was at the edge of the stage. 

Smiley then fell off the stage as Kelly Stafford watched in horror while Matthew walked away. Based on video from the parade, the stage appears to be about 6-to-8 feet off the ground and it was high enough up that Smiley apparently suffered a pretty severe injury. In a post to Twitter on Wednesday night, the photographer wrote that she fractured her spine and also wrote on Instagram that she had to stay overnight in the trauma center. 

On Thursday, the Staffords and the Rams released a joint statement.

“We have been in communication with Kelly Smiley since yesterday’s incident and we are sorry for what happened,” the statement read, per CBS Los Angeles. “As we told Kelly, we will be covering all her hospital bills and replacing her cameras. We wish her a speedy recovery.” 

This gesture by Stafford and the Rams comes on the heels of the quarterback being grilled on social media for seemingly walking away from the scene moments after the fall. 

Although the video shows Stafford turning around and walking away, it’s impossible to know what he was thinking until he actually comments on the situation. He might have thought there was security at the bottom of the stage who could quickly help Smiley. That being said, the video itself definitely isn’t a great look for the Rams QB.  

A GoFundMe had been set up to help Smiley pay for her medical expenses and for the camera equipment that broke during the fall. In less than 10 hours, people had already donated more than $14,000 to the cause.

Now Stafford and the Rams are apparently handling those expenses.

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