NFL players and fans are showing support online for Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills safety who is in critical condition after going into cardiac arrest following a tackle Monday night.
Hamlin, 24, collapsed onto the field during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treatment, and is currently sedated and in critical condition, according to a statement the Buffalo Bills released late on Monday.
The NFL shared a statement from Hamlin’s family on Tuesday expressing gratitude for the prayers, kind words, and donations they received after the incident. They also thanked the first responders and healthcare professionals who helped Hamlin, as well as the Bengals team and coach.
“Your generosity and compassion means the world to us. Please keep Damar in your prayers. We will release updates as soon as we have them,” the statement said.
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who has known Hamlin since the player was about 12 years old, also took a moment to share his admiration at a news conference on Tuesday.
“This is a really personal thing for me being a Pittsburgher and that young man being a Pittsburgher,” Tomlin said. “I got a lot of love and respect for him as a human being. His commitment to his goals and dreams of doing what he is doing right now.”
Tomlin added it’s an honor to know young people like Hamlin, and he would express that to him whenever the Steelers played the Buffalo Bills over the past two seasons.
ESPN commentator and former NFL player Robert Griffin III asked people not to share the video of Hamlin’s collapse on the field and instead share a photo of players and staff kneeling in unity for Hamlin.
NFL players and other athletes joined in conveying compassion for Hamlin and his family.
Fans also donated to a toy drive that Hamlin had organized in 2020. The player originally hoped to raise $2,500 to buy toys for children in need, but the GoFundMe had raised more than $4.5 million as of Tuesday.