Behind NFL: Damar Hamlin

Ronan McGinn

Tyler Shannon, Broadcast Journalism

Last Monday night was a night that many people will never forget, and not for a positive reason. During Monday Night Football, in a matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills, every athlete’s worst nightmare came to fruition.

During the first quarter of this highly anticipated game, Tee Higgins, a star wide-receiver for the Bengals, got the ball and started up field. A young talent of the Buffalo Bills, free safety Damar Hamlin, made a tackle on Higgins, which was perceived to be just another football hit. This was not the case. 

Hamlin got up from the hit like nothing was wrong, but seconds later the young safety collapsed to the ground and went into cardiac arrest. As of Thursday, January 5, there had been no update to the cause of the cardiac arrest and many people came forward with theories about outstanding heart issues or head trauma related injuries, but there was no factual answer as to why this happened. 

The sight of Hamlin on the ground with ambulances surrounding him, as paramedics performed CPR, and his teammates crying caused the NFL to postpone the game. Although this game was important in securing rankings, as the Bills are competing for the top seed, this incident put much more than football wins into perspective. The NFL’s decision was viewed by many as a very respectable way of handling this situation. 

On Monday night, Hamlin was rushed to The University Of Cincinnati Medical Center, which is a hospital not too far from the stadium. Throughout this past week, Hamlin has been improving, But it wasn’t until mid day Thursday that it was announced that he opened his eyes and was responsive. Hamlin even went as far as communicating via handwriting which is a major step forward. One could only hope that this is the first of many positive health updates for Damar Hamlin. 

Not only is the Bills organization pulling for him and his family, but so is the entire football community. Prior to this horrific incident, Hamlin strived to give back to his larger community; he has a personal toy drive for kids that he started when he broke into the NFL in 2021. Since Monday night, this foundation has raised 6 million dollars in donations. Anyone could hope for Hamlin’s health to skyrocket as quickly as donations to his foundation.  

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