How The Sports World Came Together For Damar Hamlin

Jolyn Ding, Sports Writer

Just a couple minutes into a highly-anticipated Week 17 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, the unimaginable occurred. An ordinary tackle quickly became a life or death situation for Bills safety Damar Hamlin. His sudden, on-field collapse and need for resuscitation prompted an emotional response from not only the teams and organizations involved but from everyone around the world as well. Athletes of all sports, individuals of all fanbases, and people of all backgrounds united in unwavering support of Hamlin. It was no longer a matter of wins and losses, but a matter of survival and recovery.

In the immediate aftermath of Hamlin’s resuscitation from cardiac arrest, he was transported to the nearest hospital where he remained in critical condition. Back at the field, players huddled together in prayer and tried to make sense of what just transpired. With emotions at an all time high, the two teams decided to postpone the game and prioritize safety above all else.

“I went in and addressed the team and just felt like overall it was going to be really hard to put them back out there,” Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott said.

Even hours after the incident, an uneasy feeling continued to permeate Paycor Stadium, the cities of Cincinnati and Buffalo, and the entire sports world.

In order to combat this, society rallied behind Hamlin and proved their support by making posters for him, donating to his foundation and toy drive, and buying his jersey online. Around the world, he was no longer just recognized as number three from the Buffalo Bills, instead as a human who put his body on the line for his team.

Luckily, Hamlin was discharged from the hospital on Jan. 11 and is currently on the road to recovery. Although this situation was far from ideal, his injury provided an important lesson: there is more to life than sports. Fans must realize that without physical and mental health, athletes cannot perform up to their standards, let alone lead a healthy life. As a result, everyone must appreciate the sacrifices athletes make to be at their best everyday.

Despite the Buffalo Bills’ recent elimination from playoff contention, they inspired a form of global unity that will be remembered forever. Like never before, people of all walks of life, sports fans or not, came together to support Hamlin and his recovery, and there’s beauty in that.