The Hamlin effect

Damar Hamlin Holds up a heart for his followers post accident in Buffalo General Medical Center.

Photo provided by Hamlin's Instagram @d.ham3

Damar Hamlin Holds up a heart for his followers post accident in Buffalo General Medical Center.

Stuart Vaughn, Staff Writer

    In the Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills NFL football game, Bills safety Damar Hamlin took a one-in-a-million hit to the chest from Tee Higgins and collapsed on the field, going into cardiac arrest. The Buffalo medical staff performed CPR on him for approximately 15 minutes and loaded him into an ambulance where they continued trying to revive him. Although he is alive and healthy now, this was a scary moment for everyone on and off that field thinking they just saw someone die. This one hit will change the way people at RJ Reynolds High School and all over the world see football. 

    “I think this is going to be scary for returning football players knowing that this could happen to anybody,” said sophomore Joe Crowley. 

    Crowley plays football at RJR and starts on varsity. Many football players are hesitant about returning this year after hearing that something this horrific happened at the highest level of football. Despite this, others are less afraid and believe this is a rare occurrence. 

    “This is an unfortunate thing but the chances of this happening are very slim,” said Joe Davidyock, the new football coach at RJR. “Reynolds has had two similar incidents in the past and that doesn’t stop anyone from playing.”

    Although Damar Hamlin’s injury is very impactful for the players, there will be a major concern rising in the sports medicine area, knowing this could happen at the highest level of football with the highest level of sports medicine and protection. 

    “I think the impact of his injury will reach other sports besides football,” said sophomore Hunter Eckman, RJR varsity soccer player. “This is probably going to change the way Heather and our other athletic trainers do things.”

Photo provided by Hamlin’s Instagram @g.ham3

    Heather Mickelson is one of the athletic trainers at RJR and has dealt with multiple injuries this year, especially concussions. Damar Hamlin suffered from a hit to the chest that caused him to go into cardiac arrest. Injuries like these can lead to some of the most dangerous, and even fatal, consequences in football. 

    “It’s weird to think this could happen in a game you play to just have fun,” said Crowley. 

    When the injury happened it was like the entire world of sports paused and the fun game turned into something serious. NFL players are some of the toughest people on the planet and to see them in tears on the field in front of everybody showed everyone this wasn’t a game anymore. A week and a ton of prayers later Damar Hamlin made his way back to buffalo healthy, and ready to continue his recovery.