Monday evening, Wizard had turned off the football game to do some paperwork. I don’t generally watch football, but on my phone, I stumbled onto the news that a player had gone down on the field and they were administering CPR. I ran into the office to tell Wizard and the two of us followed the coverage for the rest of the evening and Tuesday until I’m writing this in the early afternoon. At this point on Tuesday, Damar Hamlin is in the ICU in critical condition. He’s 24 years old and I’m praying his youth and physical conditioning works in his favor. This whole thing is so tragic, and from what we (Wizard and I) understand, caused by a rare set of circumstances. Truly tragic, and I hope for the best outcome while being painfully aware he may be fighting a very uphill battle.
But what I am today, is proud of what I saw on the field. All the players shed their competitive skins to protect their colleague while he, and the team of medical personal, fought for his life. They surrounded him with a wall of love and protection. Those players know very well how intrusive cameras are when you’re on that field. They sign up for it in the game, but not while suffering a critical injuries. I am so proud of each of them. It was a moment when I saw right through their game bravado to their souls. It’s not a moment I’ll forget.
Yeah, I know they didn’t run into a burning building like the hero’s of 911, but they are still true heroes in my book. Our actions in a crises, no matter if it’s saving a life or taking a knee to protect someone’s dignity when they can’t do it for themselves — they all matter. They all make us better humans.
This whole thing touched me deeply and I’m not a “football fan.” So for all of you who are fans, I know it probably affected you even more. Be proud of your sport, they took a knee for their downed colleague not out of monetary gain, or attention-seeking grandstanding, but because it was the right thing to do.
I can’t honestly say I didn’t think I’d be here one day saying that two teams of football players are my heroes, but today, that’s exactly what I’m saying.