Damar Hamlin, the newest victim of football?


Miles Donegan, Reporter

On Jan. 2, the Cincinnati Bengals were set to play the Buffalo Bills in a game that determined the number one seed in the AFC going into the playoffs. 

However, about 10 minutes into the game, Damar Hamlin, a member of the Bills’ defense, collided with Tee Higgins at about mid-field. After the seemingly normal tackle, both players got up. However, just moments later, Damar collapsed and didn’t seem to be breathing.

Trainers and paramedics immediately performed CPR on Damar for about nine minutes, and eventually succeeded in reviving him as he was taken off the field in an ambulance. He was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and after stabilizing his heartbeat, hooked Damar up to a breathing apparatus. He was then transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center later that same day. The game was soon canceled due to the situation, and the media immediately went into a frenzy trying to figure out what happened and why, as well as if the game should’ve resumed.

Due to this incident, a debate that has been going on for a long time about player safety was once again sparked, and whether or not football was to blame for this incident; or if it really was a one-in-a-million freak accident. 

While Damar’s condition was being monitored, football players and fans alike posted their prayers and opinions on the matter. Skip Bayless, co-host of the sports show ‘Undisputed’, commented “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.”

Injury has always been part of the game; players have been carted off in games before and the games have continued. 

An example of this was with Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tuagaviloa, who played a Monday night game and sustained a head injury. He was benched for that game, yet was cleared to play later that week on a Thursday night matchup against the Bengals. He ended up sustaining another head injury, causing him to seize up on the field and need to be carted off, but the game still continued. 

This now is raising questions really as far as what constitutes a stoppage of a game if a player goes down. No doubt that people get hurt playing contact sports but this was just different and never seen before. Thankfully Damar is ok and well but the future of football is still in question.