Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field Monday after suffering cardiac arrest and had to be both given CPR and treated with an AED (automated external defibrillator) before being rushed to a Cincinnati hospital.
It was one of the more stunning—and somber—moments you’ll ever see on live television.
On Tuesday, the team released some good news: Hamlin survived the evening, although he does remain in critical condition.
Damar Hamlin spent last night in the intensive care unit and remains there today in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
We are grateful and thankful for the outpouring of support we have received thus far.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 3, 2023
Hamlin’s family released a statement Tuesday thanking fans for their outpouring of support:
“On behalf of our family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time. We are deeply moved by the prayers, kind words, and donations from fans around the country,” the statement read.
As RedState Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar reported, Hamlin’s community toy drive, the Chasing M’s Foundation, has received millions of dollars in donations since he suffered the injury. That number has since grown to almost $5 million.
Hamlin seems to be an exceptional and generous athlete, saying in the introduction to his foundation, “As I embark on my journey to the NFL, I will never forget where I come from and I am committed to using my platform to positively impact the community that raised me.”
The game, against the Cincinnati Bengals, was an important one in terms of playoff standings, but we won’t go into that here. What we do know, however, is that it will not be rescheduled this week, and as Troy Aikman opined on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, it may not be possible to reschedule it at all. The NFL simply said, “The NFL has made no decision regarding the possible resumption of the game at a later date.”
Per the League: The Bills at Bengals game has been suspended until further notice. The NFL advised that last night’s game will not be resumed this week. No decision has been made to reschedule the game as well as any decision regarding this weekend's schedule.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 3, 2023
The stunned announcers at ESPN received mostly positive coverage of their reaction to the crisis, as they were given the impossible job of continuing the broadcast even though they didn’t even know if they had just watched a man die right in front of them. Booger McFarland captured the emotions of the moment:
Booger McFarland calls on the NFL to suspend Bills-Bengals game "Football is entertainment Nobody is in the mood of being entertained tonight..we're done playing football tonight, let's move on" pic.twitter.com/AqGW7Kml9U
— Gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 3, 2023
It didn’t take long for the folks on both sides to inappropriately weigh in on the matter and issue medical opinions despite having very little information and not having actually examined Hamlin. People who have questions about the safety of the COVID vaccines also spoke up on Twitter, throwing around accusations that are so far unsupported.
I myself have serious concerns about the vaccines, and questions will need to be asked about what exactly happened Monday night. But let’s see if the young man survives, and what a medical investigation reveals before we start mindlessly speculating online.
Substack author Alex Berenson had what I thought was a reasoned reaction:
When I saw the video of what had happened, my immediate reaction – beyond fear for Hamlin’s life – was, I suspect, the same as most of yours. Had Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest? Were the mRNA vaccines ultimately responsible, perhaps by causing myocarditis that left him vulnerable?
My second reaction was: this is not the moment to discuss these questions. At the time, no one could even be certain if Hamlin was alive. I said as much on Twitter, as the teams disappeared into their locker rooms and the stadium remained silent…
It was a difficult thing to watch, and the broadcasters did well to express their emotions and focus on what was important—Hamlin’s life. We all hope the next few days bring good news.
Fittingly, the Buffalo Bills (and all the other teams) changed their profiles pictures to honor Hamlin:
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 3, 2023
Once again, Berenson, no shrinking violet when it comes to challenging mRNA vaccine orthodoxy, got it exactly right:
As of this writing, Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The cause of his cardiac arrest is unknown.
The only appropriate response at this time is to pray for the health of the young man and for his family. Questions need to be answered—just not yet.