NFL World Turns to Prayer after Damar Hamlin Collapses: ‘Jesus, Be with Our Guy’


The pro-football world turned to prayer Monday night after Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during a nationally televised game and required CPR.

Hamlin, listed in critical condition as of Tuesday morning, fell backward after taking a blow to the chest and making a tackle in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The game was suspended with 5:58 left in the first quarter. He is 24.

The Bills released a statement saying Hamlin’s “heartbeat was restored on the field, and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment.” He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.

“The thoughts and prayers of all of Bills Mafia are supporting you, Damar,” the Bills’ official Twitter account said.

Though rare, pro and college athletes have suffered cardiac arrest in the past. In 1971, Detroit’s Chuck Hughes, 28, died of a heart attack during an NFL game. In 1990, college basketball player Hank Gathers of Loyola Marymount died at the age of 23 during a game due to a heart issue. In 1993, Reggie Lewis of the NBA’s Boston Celtics collapsed and died during practice due to a heart condition. He was 27.

In 2015, a 22-year-old amateur hockey player went into cardiac arrest and died in Connecticut after being struck in the chest with a puck.

After Hamlin collapsed, various phrases with the words “pray” and “prayer” trended on Twitter.

“To those who follow Jesus, don’t stop praying,” former NFL player and current ESPN sports analyst Sam Ocho tweeted. “Don’t be distracted. Keep on interceding on Damar’s behalf to the Lord. Damar is still fighting. Keep on praying that God would save his life and that God would get the glory. Let the others talk. You pray. Our God hears #DamarHamlin.”

“Prayer is real, and it’s powerful. Constantly praying for Damar and his family,” tweeted Dawson Knox, a teammate of Hamlin.

“Lord, please place your protection over Hamlin tonight. May your strength and comfort be with everyone on that field,” Kelvin Beachum of the Arizona Cardinals tweeted.

“Praying for Damar Hamlin. May God be with him and his family,” wrote Eddy Piñeiro of the Carolina Panthers.

“Jesus, be with our guy D Ham and heal him,” tweeted Camryn Bynum of the Minnesota Vikings.

“Praying fervently for Damar Hamlin, his family, loved ones, teammates, coaches, and entire NFL family,” tweeted Jonnu Smith of the New England Patriots. “God’s purpose is perfect.”

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.


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