Damar Hamlin’s accident leads to a sense of camaraderie in NFL community

Super Bowl is opportunity for more good deeds by NFL community



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The world was left appalled after witnessing Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapse after taking a hit to the chest on Jan. 2 in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Questions ran through thousands of people’s heads; did we just witness a star player’s death? Hamlin tackled a Bengals receiver, rose to his feet looking as though he recovered and seconds later fell straight back to the ground and lay unconscious.

In addition to the accident being seen on live television right when it happened, news of the event was all-over social media very soon after. Hamlin was administered CPR less than a minute after collapsing, Bills staff continued resuscitation for nine minutes and used defibrillation to get the players heartbeat back. The scene of Hamlin on his back, surrounded by medical staff, coaches and teammates effected not only Buffalo Bills fans but fans of other teams and those who may not even watch football at all.

The game was suspended after the incident and soon after the NFL announced it would be cancelled. The occurrence of events like this, the NFL has prioritized mental health resources for both players and staff. Team’s staff are trained for situations from a concussion to a player collapsing and the Bills medical personnel were widely praised for their quick response.

This tragic event was impactful in more ways than one, making it an incredibly unique moment in the competitive world of professional sports. Not only was the accident itself rare in the fact that Hamlin almost died on live TV with tens of thousands of people watching, but that the events immediately following him collapsing were inspiring.

It sent people into action. The NFL community came together in a way that has never really been seen before. Every single NFL team got involved and posted sharing their thoughts and prayers for Hamlin. On the other side, fans made a much more impactful movement by donating to a fundraiser started earlier on by Hamlin. The fundraiser was only meant to make around $2,500 but instead made a total of over $8 million in donations from fans from all over. Even just a couple hours after his collapse the Go Fund Me was at around $2 million.

Hamlin’s accident was tragic but the strength and gratitude he has shown is inspiring and I wish him all the best in his recovery. With all that said, It has taught us an important lesson. Support those around you and use anything as an opportunity to continue doing more good. With the Super Bowl fast approaching there is more good that can be done. Yes, it is fun to place bets and get competitive during the biggest sporting event of the year but is there more we can do to support the teams involved? Are there players with foundations and fundraisers that we could support? Why let a terrifying accident be the only catalyst for change?

There are even a couple examples just of players from teams going to the Super Bowl. Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs founded 87 & Running which is an outlet for creating change in his community. Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod founded the Change or Future organization with his wife in order to give back to his community as well. Imagine what good could happen if every fan donated just one dollar per touchdown of their fav. team

The sense of togetherness in a sports community is like nothing else as seen in this series of events, let’s continue to spread the good.