Monday, January 2nd, was unlike any Monday Night Football game before it. During a routine
play, Buffalo Bills’ player Damar Hamlin suffered from cardiac arrest from a tough blow to the
chest on the field during a game. The atmosphere of the field switched abruptly from animated
to somber. Silence swept across the field as Hamlin collapsed, and the whole stadium had to
watch in horror as CPR was performed on him and he was sent away in an ambulance. This
was a traumatic moment for everyone involved, and reminded them of the true humanity found
within sports.

Every player is a human with a valuable life, and that should always take precedence over the
game. However, the NFL organization did not appear to think the same. They dismissed the
horrific incident and urged the coaches and players to continue the game as if nothing had
happened. Therefore, the game was broadcast for another painstaking hour while chaos
ensued, and viewers across the country witnessed the players sobbing over their friend, and the
newscasters panicking as there was nothing to do but stay on air. This, of course, was not well
received by anyone, so the NFL eventually came around and postponed the game and it
thankfully had no effect on qualification for the players for either the Bills or the Bengals.

Thankfully, Hamlin made a miraculous recovery in the past few days. Thanks to the NFL
medical personnel who lifeflighted him and sent him to the nearest hospital, he was able to not
only talk again but video chat with his teammates and coaches and wish them well. His
teammates were overwhelmed with relief when they heard his voice. The call gave them much
needed morale for their future games, as this traumatic event had shaken them all up and taken
away their motivation to play.

“We thank the NFL medical personnel and the medical staff from both teams whose emergency
action quite likely saved his life. We are also grateful to the professionals at the University of
Cincinnati Medical Center who tended to Damar and continue to oversee his care,” NFL
Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in an open letter. It seemed as if the world stopped when
Hamlin collapsed, because the possible fatal realities of football have never really been
broadcast live for people to witness.

Hamlin’s family received an outbreak of immense support from fans as well as the NFL Players
Association, who donated $10,000 to his foundation. His teammates were also encouraged to
honor Hamlin in whichever ways they see fit, including wearing jerseys with his name and
number on it before their next few games. Hamlin is continuing to make wonderful progress by
reaching out to his fans and loved ones, and his recovery is a moving reminder of how we
cannot take life for granted.

In his first Instagram after the incident,
he said “When you put real love out into the world it
comes back to you 3x’s as much. The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every
single person that prayed for me and reached out.”

According to Adnan Zai, Advisor to Berkeley Capital, “This event was unlike any the sports
world has ever seen. It is good to see that Damar is on the mend, and that some things are
more important than a game.”

This event was a stark reminder of the value of life, and should make the NFL playoff season
even more interesting this year