Damar Romeyelle Hamlin (1998– )

Hamlin seated holding jersey
Damar Romeyelle Hamlin at the White House, March 30, 2023
Courtesy White House Press Office under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

Damar Romeyelle Hamlin is an American football player who plays the safety position for the Buffalo (New York) Bills of the National Football League (NFL). Hamlin was born on March 24, 1998, to Mario and Nina Hamlin in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. Hamlin attended Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he was named first-team All-State and the Class AAA Defensive Player of the Year. Hamlin graduated from Central Catholic High School in 2016.

After graduating from high school, Hamlin attended The University of Pittsburgh, where he played for the Pittsburgh Panthers football team. During his first year, he played three games before suffering an injury that led him to receive a medical redshirt exception. During his sophomore year, Hamlin played the safety position, where he was able to record 41 tackles and nine interceptions.

The following year, Hamlin recorded 77 tackles and two interceptions and was named honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) as a redshirt sophomore. During his junior year, he recorded 84 tackles. During his senior year, Hamilton was team captain of the Pittsburgh Panthers and led the team with 66 tackles. Hamlin was named to the All-ACC second team. He also earned ACC CO-Defensive Back of the Week Honors. Hamlin will graduate in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication.

In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected Hamlin in the sixth round with the 212th overall pick. During his rookie season, Hamlin saw little playing time where he played a reserve role. During the 2022 NFL season, Hamlin became a starting safety for the Buffalo Bills after fellow Bills player Micah Hyde suffered a season-ending injury.

On January 2, 2023, during a Monday Night Football game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati (Ohio) Bengals, Hamlin collapsed after suffering cardiac arrest on the football field after making a tackle on Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Medical staff performed CPR and took Hamlin to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in critical condition. Following the incident, NFL players and teams offer their support on social media by twitting “Pray For Damar.” In hours following his collapse, many fans, NFL players, coaches, and executives sent donations to his 2020 GoFundMe campaign for the Chasing M’s Foundation toy drive. Hamlin’s GoFundMe campaign grew from its original goal of $2,500 to $8.7 Million.

Buffalo Bills, at the bottom left, kneeling in prayer after Hamlin's cardiac arrest
Buffalo Bills, at the bottom left, kneeling in prayer after Hamlin’s cardiac arrest in the Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio, January 2, 2023 Photograph by Schetm, courtesy Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain

Damar Hamlin is back in Buffalo and is slowly recovering from his heart attack. He has become an inspiration to his fellow Buffalo Bills teammates and to Bills fans as well as new found supporters and well-wishers around the world.  Whether he continues his  NFL career from this point is unknown.

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