Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin Collapses During Game Due To Cardiac Arrest

Elaina Zabkowski

Officials had to postpone the January 2 Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals after Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest in the first quarter.

Hamlin collapsed after tackling Cincinnati wide receiver Tee Higgins. Higgins led with his left shoulder into Hamlin’s chest. Hamlin got up right after but collapsed about three seconds later.

Athletic trainers gave Hamlin oxygen and put him on a stretcher while they protected his head. His family members joined him in the ambulance that drove him to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

On the field, the entire Bills team surrounded Hamlin as medical professionals treated him. Many players were visibly upset and many were seen comforting each other.

The energy in the stadium changed almost immediately. It was apparent that the fans had realized that something was seriously wrong. Most were seen either praying, hugging, or just standing silently.

After Hamlin left, Bills players knelt together in a circle and then returned to the sideline. The defense went back on the field to resume the game with a heavy heart until Buffalo wide receiver Stefon Diggs called everyone over for a word.

Instead of continuing the game, Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor and Buffalo coach Sean McDermott met with game officials to temporarily pause the game.

Later, the league completely suspended the game until further notice.

The UC Medical Center had Hamlin sedated and listed in critical condition as of January 3. They said that they had to resuscitate him again while he was in the hospital.

Early in the morning on January 4 reports stated that Hamlin was still sedated and on a ventilator to take the strain off of his lungs. In addition, medical professionals have flipped him on his stomach to help with the blood on his lungs.

According to his uncle, he seems to be recovering positively.

On January 5, reports stated that Hamlin had awakened, and was holding hands with his family in the hospital. The Bills report that Hamlin is making tremendous progress.

On January 6, reports stated that Hamlin was awake and his breathing tube was removed. Also they said that he has no signs of head trauma.

In the wake of this serious injury, the entire world has shown support for Hamlin, whether they watch football or not. Most notably, many people worldwide are donating to a GoFundMe page he created to give Christmas toys to less fortunate children. After reaching $3 million only hours after his collapse, it has now topped $6 million.

Many stadiums have changed the lights to red, white, and blue and have their screens displaying “Pray for Damar” with his jersey number. All teams’ changed their Twitter profile pictures to the same image.

Diggs along with a few other teammates and Taylor stayed in Cincinnati to visit Hamlin in the hospital. Diggs even said that police initially stopped him before learning that he was a teammate.

While much of the world is rallying behind him, still some people have used this tragic event to be hateful.

The play that Hamlin suffered after shows that Higgins led with his left shoulder into Hamlin, causing some to blame Higgins for Hamlin’s cardiac arrest.

Higgins reported people have sent him horrible messages, including death threats.

Though some blame him, it seemed to be a routine tackle. Nothing about it would be thought to cause something as serious as cardiac arrest.

Sports Columnist Skip Bayless also stirred up controversy after a message he tweeted shortly after Hamlin’s collapse. In the tweet, he stated, “No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the rest of this game – but how? This late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular-season outcome … which suddenly seems so irrelevant.”

Many took this as Bayless saying that the game should have continued, and many harshly disagreed with his Tweet. Some even believe that he should be “canceled” for it.

Bayless later Tweeted, “Nothing is more important than that young man’s health. That was the point of my last Tweet. I’m sorry if that was misunderstood but his health is all that matters. Again, everything else is irrelevant. I prayed for him & will continue to.”

He has said that he will not be deleting the original Tweet and hasn’t as of now.