Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin issued a response to accusations that he had worn a blasphemous design on his jacket to the Super Bowl.
Hamlin made national headlines when he suffered a cardiac arrest after a tackle during a football game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals in week 17 of the season. Medical professionals had to restore his heartbeat on the field before he was rushed to a hospital.
Hamlin made a remarkable recovery and attended the Super Bowl only six weeks later, where he participated in a ceremony honoring the medical team that saved his life.
While most applauded Hamlin, some were incensed and angered by what appeared to be a disrespectful image of Jesus Christ on his jacket. Among those were former NFL star Adrian Peterson, who called the jacket blasphemous on social media.
“We all fall short but cmon man! I find this disrespectful!!” Peterson added on the post.
Hamlin responded on Wednesday in a pair of tweets from his social media account.
“After talking with my parents I understand how my coat could have offended some people. It was never my intentions to hurt or disrespect anyone, the coat is abstract art to me,” said Hamlin.
“It says Eternal which I am Eternally thankful to my Savior!” he added.
“My beliefs and Relationship with God is not tied to symbolic images. I will learn from this and continue to walk in Love as I ALWAYS have,” Hamlin concluded with a citation from Matthew 7:1-5 and heart emojis.
Peterson later indicated that he had reached out to Hamlin and spoken to him about his concerns. Some on social media have circulated conspiracy theories claiming that Hamlin had been replaced by a clone in order to protect the NFL.
Hamlin attributed his recovery to God in a video statement weeks after his injury.
“What happened to me on Monday Night Football, I feel, is a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and my love directly from my heart with the entire world,” Hamlin said.
Football fans and others contributed to a charity Hamlin had set up prior to his injury to benefit children in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. The foundation expanded its mission after receiving more than $9 million in donations.
“And now I’m able to give it back to kids and communities all across the world who need it the most, and that’s always been my dream,” he added. “That’s always been what I stood for and what I’ll continue to stand for.”
Here’s more about Hamlin at the Super Bowl:
Damar Hamlin makes appearance on field at Super Bowlwww.youtube.com
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