The #3 Legacy

Damar Hamlin’s life threatening-injury has given a new perspective on the importance of a single player.


ABC News

On January 7th, Damar Hamlin broke silence on his Instagram and voiced how grateful he was for all the support he received after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Manas Kathir, Sports Editor

For many of us, sports can mean the world. And in our minds, there is only one thing that we think about going into a prime-time game: who is going to win?

Regardless of the sport, fans only think about the result of matchups, but what we often underestimate is the safety of the game. Are these players on the field or court truly safe? Most would assume that they would be because the players are part of leagues that collect millions of dollars every day. However, those people’s perception of reality changed on January 2nd. 

Damar Hamlin, safety for the Buffalo Bills, had his life almost taken away during what was a crucial game for the National Football League playoff picture, as the Bills were determined to seal first place in the American Football Conference with a win against the Cincinnati Bengals. The football world was shocked as he lost his consciousness and suffered a cardiac arrest after taking a hit while trying to tackle Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. 

I remember my friends and me gaping after watching what took place and spam-texting our group chats about the whole situation. The game was suspended immediately after the incident and Hamlin was carted off the field. He was then sent to a nearby hospital in Cincinnati as the whole world prayed for him.

I have watched sports for a long time in my seventeen years of life, and I have never seen something like this. And what made the feeling of what I watched even worse was that I later found out that Hamlin was raised in McKees Rocks, PA, a township just outside of Pittsburgh. 

Hamlin attended Central Catholic in Pittsburgh during his high school years and played football at the University of Pittsburgh. What I later learned about Hamlin was he worked very hard to improve the lives of people around him and truly defined what it meant to be an unselfish individual. In 2020, Hamlin started organizing annual charity Christmas toy drives in his hometown McKees Rocks. 

Although he is a wealthy player in the NFL, he has not forgotten about the people he grew up with and the community that helped him get to where he is today. All of his former Vikings teammates and Pitt teammates spoke less about the player he is and more about the type of man he is. Hamlin’s injury sparked not only a change in the NFL, but also all over the world. Many high schools, colleges, and professional leagues honored him during games in all different types of ways by using his jersey number.

On January 5th, after the football incident had taken place, it was reported by the hospital that Hamlin received care and was “beginning to waken,” and on January 9th, he was sent back to Buffalo to continue his care. 

Words cannot explain how thrilled I was to hear the news. To see the good he did for this world and the love he received back was truly amazing. Hamlin was seated during the Bills-Bengals playoff game this past Sunday.

It is great to see former Pittsburgher Damar Hamlin recovering well, and I have no doubt that he will come back as a better player. However, in my opinion, it is much more important to define his legacy as a great player and an even greater person. Let his character serve as a reminder to all of us that love will always be reciprocated when we show it first.