It looked like a routine tackle during another fast and physical NFL football. What it turned out to be was a defining moment for players, coaches and fans in and out of the sporting world.
Bills Safety Damar Hamlin took a shot to the head and chest area while making a tackle following a completed pass to Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. After making the tackle Hamlin quickly bounced up on his feet, took a couple of steps and fell backward, and went into cardiac arrest.
Bills staff and physicians were quick to administer aid until Medics arrived, restoring Hamlin’s heartbeat on the field before he was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Hamlin’s mother was at the game and was in the ambulance when he was transported to the Level One Trauma Center
The suddenness and seriousness of the tragic event caught everyone by surprise and humanized the event. This was not about a football player undergoing a major medical emergency but a human being who was not fighting for his life at the young age of 24.
The game was canceled as a matter of fact as teammates fans and people in and out of sports tried to make sense of an unprecedented situation. An overwhelming outpouring of support from every walk of life hit like tidal wave and has not stopped.
Jordan Rooney, a family friend and marketing representative released a statement on behalf of the family expressing its “sincere gratitude for the love and support shown to Damar during this challenging time” In the a statement Rooney thanked the Bills, the Bengals, fans and medical personnel.
In a sign of solidarity and support on Tuesday afternoon every NFL changed their Twitter avatar photos to a graphic with the safety’s No.3 Jersey.
Earlier in the day the Commissioner’s Office had a conference call and with team representatives and sent out the following memo .
SEVERAL SEAHAWKS PLAYERS SHOWED THEIR SUPPORT FOR HAMLIN TUESDAY AFTERNOON
The league announced Tuesday afternoon that the Bengals-Bills game would not be resumed this week and no decision has been made as to whether the game will be played at a later date.
THE STORY IS THE STORY
What is important here is that a human being suffered a cardiac arrest and is fighting for his life in a Cincinnati Hospital. When tragedy strikes it hits everyone differently. When fear, anger, and helplessness are lumped into one big ball of emotion people are bound to act and say anything with other past judgment as a mechanism. That won’t happen here. Rather a last line of Hope and Prayers to those impacted by this tragic event.