Damar Hamlin’s sudden cardiac arrest


Joshua A. Bickel

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed from a sudden cardiac arrest after making a tackle during Monday’s night football against the Cincinnati Bengals. The first responders administered CPR, with his heartbeat fortunately returning. They immediately rushed him to the Cincinnati Medical hospital, where fans gathered to show their support. This incident sheds light on the dangers surrounding football that nobody believes or wants to see, particularly the damage that stars take onto their bodies. This realization could ultimately revolutionize the lens in which American football fans view their favorite hobby.

Divine Idiku, Reporter

After making a tackle January 2, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered from a sudden cardiac arrest Monday night. The National Football League (NFL) suspended the game of the Cincinnati Bengals versus the Buffalo Bills and postponed it due to the dreadful incident. This shocking event shed light on the great dangers of football, including the players’ level of protection in the future.

  While tackling Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tee Higgins, who ran the ball from a pass from Joe Burrow, his right shoulder hit Hamlin’s chest. After the tackle, he stood up but suddenly collapsed a few seconds later. After falling to the ground, ESPN kept cutting to a commercial break one after another in an attempt to censor the disastrous circumstances on the field. The first responders administered CPR but also needed a defibrillator. After a whopping 19 minutes, his heartbeat returned, and the first responders immediately took him via ambulance to the Cincinnati Medical center.

“It’s sad, football is dangerous, a very contact-heavy sport and things happen. Damar Hamlin thankfully made a recovery yesterday, he’s going to be alright and they canceled the game,” junior NC D-lineman Dan Idiku said.

One hour later, the NFL suspended the game and enacted its emergency action plan. According to Jordon Rooney, Hamlin’s marketing agent, Hamin slept with a breathing tube Monday night and his vitals returned to normal. Under sedation in the hospital, fans gathered showing their support. The Buffalo Bills stated that the doctors removed his breathing tube overnight, his neurologic function stayed intact and he recovered remarkably. The doctors at the hospital said he suffered in critical condition, but woke up on Wednesday and asked who won in the game between the Bills versus the Cincinnati Bengals.

Supporters created a GoFundMe for Hamlin’s charity with the goal of $2,500, but it surpassed $8 million. In response, Hamlin wrote a note on the page. Super Bowl champion Tom Brady sent a message of support on Twitter to Hamlin and his family. Hamlin plans to watch his team match up against the New England Patriots from his hospital bed. Teams through the weekend wore “love for Damar” t-shirts during their warm-up, and the Bills plan to honor Hamlin during their play as per Hamlin’s father’s request.

Unlike the common injuries players obtain such as strains and sprains, this incident sheds light on the ugly and dangerous side of the NFL that nobody wants to admit or witness. Football continues to grow dangerous, between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur due to football, despite the league’s efforts to make it safer. In football, the players collide with one another, with these tackles potentially leading to numerous head injuries. Players could suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) or longterm dementia which connects to athletes such as Andre Water’s suicide.

 “Things happen, sometimes you never know what’s going to happen. It affects the NFL in general because they’re going to make restrictions in their rules to make players safe. They will focus more on their pads and look into their pads to create more safety measures. No, I think people are more self-aware of how dangerous football can be, and some parents are not signing up their kids for football because of its dangers,” Idiku said.