During the Monday night affair between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, the NFL was struck with one of its greatest tragedies in recent memory. Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac event while making a seemingly routine tackle, and after getting up, immediately collapsed onto the field.
What ensued was a moment of absolute and utter chaos. CPR and defibrillators were both used on the field, in the eye of everyone in the stadium. An emergency unit filled with strong individuals carried out their duties well, and Hamlin was able to reach the hospital quickly enough to keep him alive.
Often times the labels humans assign to their counterparts are covered in negative connotations. Most humans don’t have faith in others, and would be quick to expect others to disappoint them. While Hamlin’s incident is surely tragic, it’s also served as a great reminder that humans can, indeed, be good sometimes.
Fan and League-Wide Support for Damar Hamlin
Tuesday and Wednesday night, a combination of fans has gotten together at the Bengals’ stadium to hold a candlelight vigil, in honor of Hamlin.
This is just one small example of the outcry of support from across the league. For example, all 32 NFL teams have changed their logos on Twitter to a “Pray for Damar” message. In similar news, at many stadiums around the league, messages of support for Hamlin can be seen.
The following cities and teams made an effort to show support for Hamlin: 49ers, Dolphins, Broncos, Ravens, Patriots, Jaguars, Saints, and the Raiders. Here’s an example, from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota:
Even a local natural wonder like Niagara Falls lit up blue on Tuesday night in support of Hamlin. Even outside of the football world, teams have been paying their respects.
Outside of Football
Donovan Mitchell scored 71 points on Monday. The most points scored by a player in a single NBA game, since Kobe scored 82. Mitchell didn’t get much recognition for that — which is unfortunate yet understandable. When he did talk to the media; however, the first thing he shared was his support for Hamlin.
The Buffalo Sabres came into their game on Tuesday wearing shirts that read; “Love for 3”. Rookie sensation Tage Thompson would then score three goals, with his third coming in the third minute of overtime. A moral and symbolic victory for the city.
Damar Hamlin’s Charity
In 2020, Hamlin started a charity, the Chasing M’s Foundation, aimed at purchasing toys for children in his hometown in Pennsylvania. This charity wasn’t too well-known, but it had raised a bit of money.
In the first few hours immediately after Hamlin’s injury, as the public learned about his charity, donations came pouring in. After those first several hours, over $4 million was raised.
Editors Note: As of editing this article, Hamlin’s charity has exceeded $7 million, including a donation of over $25k from the Indianapolis Colts and owner Jim Irsay.
Ultimately, many do carry the view that the world is an evil place, and that humans will do evil things to each other. Given the course of human history, you’d be hard-pressed to claim that argument as incorrect. In the wake of this tragedy, we were reminded that humans can be great, too.
People want their flowers when they’re here. One of the greatest achievements one can have is to see how valued, loved, and respected they are by other people. Damar Hamlin is the example of a great man. We can only hope that he pulls through this and gets to see his flowers.