Buffalo Bill's Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit versus the Bengals
The GIST: In alignment with Clark’s moving commentary, much of the response to Monday’s events underscores a crucial reminder: people come first, games are secondary. With that in mind, here are the key conversations sparked by the ongoing situation.
NFL backlash: The league remains in hot water as many question why it took so long to postpone Monday’s game, especially as players were visibly distraught after watching their teammate and peer be administered CPR on the field.
- Thankfully, the adults in the room (aka Bills head coach Sean McDermott, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and the players) stepped in to do the right thing and put mental health first.
- The league has since said the game will not be resumed this week and that they have not made a decision on a potential makeup date. They also said there are no changes to this weekend’s schedule — the regular-season finale — as of yet.
Medical emergency history: Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was eerily reminiscent of recent terrifying incidents across sports. The world watched on with horror earlier this season when Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (pronounced TUNG-o-vai-LOA) was stretchered off the field after taking a hard hit and entering a trauma response.
- Many comparisons are also being drawn to Danish soccer midfielder Christian Eriksen, who collapsed on the pitch after suffering a cardiac arrest during the 2020 UEFA Euro Championship. Eriksen notably returned to play less than a year later.
- As Clark so succinctly and strongly put it, “we got to see a side of football that is extremely ugly. A side of football that no one ever wants to admit exists.”
The human response: The entire football and sports community has rallied around Hamlin, best evidenced by the overwhelming support for the toy drive he launched back in 2020. As of Tuesday evening, a whopping 200K donors have contributed nearly $6M, far surpassing the original $2,500 goal. A powerful and inspiring reminder that it’s way bigger than ball.