Damar Hamlin – A Story of Sportsmanship


Bella DeNicholas, Editor

Damar Hamlin is a 24 year old football player who was most recently injured. Hamlin is an American Football safety for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football league. During one of the Monday night games against the Bengals, Hamlin tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins after a thirteen-yard catch. (This tackle occurred during the first quarter, around nine minutes in). Higgins hit Hamlin at full speed, hitting him both in the head and chest. Hamlin quickly stood up, took two steps backward, and fell. 

Hamlin was immediately sent to the hospital, and was later found to have suffered cardiac arrest. Hamlin’s heart had reportedly stopped after being hit. His heartbeat was restored by medical personnel on the field by CPR. Hamlin was then taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. 

Between both coaches there was no talk of resuming the game. The head referee, Shawn Smith, spoke to both head coaches about giving all players as much time as they needed. The game was later postponed. “The game is not important, Damar Hamlin’s life is important. Please be ok. Please.” J.J. Watt of the Arizona Cardinals wrote in a post. 

Many players around the N.F.L. quickly voiced their concerns on social media, praying that Hamlin would get better. “Praying hard… please be okay man,” Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes. “Around 100 football fans gathered outside of the University of Cincinnati hospital seeking information about Hamlin’s condition.” New York Times stated. Janet Kohl and her brother Chuck Kohl said they were watching the game on live TV. As soon as they saw Hamlin collapse, they drove the 20 minutes to the hospital in order to pray. “Immediately, the whole euphoria of being a Bengals fan was put into perspective. Because now we’re talking life or death.” Chuck Kohl stated. 

Many other traumatic injuries in the head have been due to tackling. Earlier in the first quarter, Bills cornerback Taron Johnson left the game with a head injury after attempting to tackle Bengals “tight end” Hayden Hirst. Johnson was tended to on the field by team trainers, later walking off. On September 29, Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was transported to the hospital after smashing his head against the turf in a game against the Bengals. Once he was immediately transported to the hospital, it was found he had suffered a  concussion. 

After spending nine long days and nights in two hospitals, Damar Hamlin was discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute. Hamlin is now back at his home in Buffalo with his friends and family.