It has been a pleasure to bear witness to the outpouring of love for Damar Hamlin after his horrific injury during the since-canceled Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. The 24-year-old shared an Instagram post extending his gratitude to everyone who has supported him in the week since.
“When you put real love out into the world, it comes back to you 3x’s as much,” the Bills’ safety wrote on Saturday (Jan. 7). “The Love has been overwhelming, but I’m thankful for every single person that prayed for me and reached out. We bring the world back together behind this. If you know me you know this only gone make me stronger. On a long road keep praying for me!”
All throughout the NFL’s games this past weekend, players wore Hamlin’s jersey during warmups, commentators wore his jersey during their broadcasts, and every team’s field featured a blue, red, and white No. 3.
The biggest tribute to the University of Pittsburgh graduate came at the start of the Bills’ game against the New England Patriots on Sunday (Jan. 8), when Nyhiem Hines returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. The stadium erupted in cheers and the players were visibly emotional on the sideline as the Bills went on to defeat the Patriots 35-23.
Damar Hamlin suffered a tragic injury on Monday (Jan. 2) during a routine tackle of Cincinnati Bengals’ receiver Tee Higgins. He stood up before immediately falling back down and appearing unresponsive. The training staff was forced to use an AED and CPR before Hamlin was rushed to a local hospital. In the middle of the week, the 24-year-old finally opened his eyes and became responsive.
As his recovery progresses and the Bills’ safety is able to communicate, he is using this life-threatening situation and the love he received to pour back into the community. Hamlin promoted t-shirts that read “Did We Win?” which was the question he asked his doctors upon waking up and regaining the ability to write. Proceeds go to first responders and the University of Cincinnati Trauma Center.