Damar Hamlin speaks on the pitch for first time since collapse: ‘With God’s guidance I will continue to do wonderful and great things’
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin made a video statement on Instagram in which most people have seen his face up close and heard his voice for the first time since he suffered cardiac arrest on the field earlier this month.
On Saturday night, Hamlin, 24, posted a six-minute video to his Instagram account. In the video, aptly titled “Thank You: A Message From Damar Hamlin,” Hamlin makes a series of statements, most of them expressing gratitude to the various people and groups who have helped him in his recovery.
Hamlin opens the video by stepping into the camera frame, which looks like a invoice system. He places a jacket on a chair and then speaks directly into the camera, although the film regularly features images and clips of others, including medical staff, other NFL players, fans and members of his family.
“It was just a lot to process,” Hamlin admits, “but I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all of the love, all of the support, and everything that comes my way right now.”
“I think what happened to me on Monday Night Football is a direct example of how God is using me as a vehicle to share my passion and love with the whole world, straight from my heart,” Hamlin said. “And now I can give it back to children and communities around the world who need it most, and that has always been my dream. I have always stood up for that and I will continue to stand for that.”
On Jan. 2, Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after sustaining a blow to the chest while tackling Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Hamlin required immediate medical attention and emergency response teams had to resuscitate him twice that night. The game was never resumed.
Despite the severity of the immediate situation, Hamlin has since made “remarkable progress” and was able to return to Buffalo about a week after the incident. The cause of its collapse is either not yet clear or not yet known.
However, rumors have been circulating on social media in recent weeks as to whether Hamlin has improved as much as has been hinted. Hamlin’s face was often covered, even in so-called “public appearances”. Although he attended the Bills’ playoff game on Jan. 22 — no less than he did against the Cincinnati Bengals — the camera didn’t show close-up shots of his face even as he entered Highmark Stadium, and the audience mostly only saw his silhouette through it Window of the suite the game.
Even a picture posted to Hamlin’s Instagram account earlier this week showed Hamlin in sunglasses and a hoodie sweatshirt and looking down, leading some to speculate he was purposely shielding his face. Others even suggested that Hamlin might have used a body doubleeither to hide perceived setbacks in his recovery or to monetize his return by “selling” an interview to a notable journalist like Oprah Winfrey.
BlazeTV’s Jason Whitlock seemed to speak for many skeptics this week when he asked, “Why the secrecy?”
Hamlin indirectly addressed these rumors, explaining in the video that he was waiting for the “right time” to speak publicly.
“Now that my brothers have wrapped up a strong winning season while I’ve continued to make such great strides in recovery, I think it’s finally a good time to share a few things,” Hamlin says at the beginning the video. “I think it was important for me to wait and speak publicly at the right time because it was just a lot to process on my own. Mentally, physically, even spiritually, it was just a lot to process.”
Hamlin spends most of the video thanking people, often by name, including the Bills’ training staff. medical teams at Cincinnati Medical Center and Buffalo General Hospital; his mother, father and little brother; the Bills organization and the NFL as a whole; loyal Bills fans known as “Bills Mafia”; Bengals fans; donors to his organization, the In search of Ms. Foundation; and all the ‘kids who broadcast [him] Letters and heartwarming gifts.”
“‘Being a role model has always been important to me, but when I just see the love and support of the youth, I just want to give back and go into the communities and touch the kids and be the role model that they can see, touch, feel, speak and know that everything you dream of is real. It can happen if you stay focused, stay engaged, get involved in whatever you’re doing,” says Hamlin.
“While I’m so grateful to everyone, I know that just being grateful isn’t enough,” Hamlin says to end his message. “This is just the beginning of the impact I wanted to have on the world. I couldn’t do this without that support and love, and I can’t wait to continue taking you all on this journey with me.”
He then ends the video by forming the shape of a heart with his hands, a signature movement that seems to express love and provides a subtle hint of his health and recovery.
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https://www.theblaze.com/news/damar-hamlin-speaks-for-first-time-since-on-field-collapse-with-god-s-guidance-i-will-continue-to-do-wonderful-and-great-things Damar Hamlin speaks on the pitch for first time since collapse: ‘With God’s guidance I will continue to do wonderful and great things’