NFL And Bills Hero Damar Hamlin Aspires To Be ‘the Example I Never Had’ Away From Football


Following the Bills’ Week 2 victory over the Titans, Damar offered Hamlin an important slice of perspective when asked if he had seen teammate Dane Jackson leave on a gurney.

“Life is bigger than football,” he says said.

On Monday night, it was Hamlin who was forced off the field in cardiac arrest as security was given CPR, taken away in an ambulance and later listed as a critical condition by the NFL after tackling the Bengals’ Tee Higgins.

Damar Hamlin pictured next to his mother, Nina, before the Bills played the Browns in an NFL game on Nov. 20 — Hamlin has spoken about how close he is to his family

Damar Hamlin pictured next to his mother, Nina, before the Bills played the Browns in an NFL game on Nov. 20 — Hamlin has spoken about how close he is to his family

Depicted as a young football player, Hamlin has become the NFL's ultimate role model

Depicted as a young football player, Hamlin has become the NFL's ultimate role model

Depicted as a young football player, Hamlin has become the NFL’s ultimate role model

Hamlin collapsed moments later, fell backward, and lay motionless on the floor

Hamlin collapsed moments later, fell backward, and lay motionless on the floor

Hamlin, No. 3, collapsed playing for the Bills Monday Night shortly after making a tackle and his team later confirmed that the 24-year-old was in cardiac arrest

Hamlin’s family watched his game against the Bengals and came to the field to be with him as he was taken into the ambulance.

On November 20, Hamlin was captured greeting his family before Buffalo won Cleveland. hugging his mother Nina allegedly for the second time in that foreplay.

The heartwarming video is representative of his dedication to family.

Born when his mother was just 16 years old, Hamlin has said he is “extremely close” to his family and that it played a part in his decision to stay close to home in college.

‘I have one little brother [Damir Hamlin]he’s six years old now and that was probably the biggest reason I chose Pitt,” he said News 4 Buffalo after being drafted by the Bills two years ago.

“Just staying close to my family and then having my little brother around so I can be a role model to him and just show him examples of life that I never really had,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin has said he is 'an example I never had' for his little brother Damir (pictured)

Hamlin has said he is 'an example I never had' for his little brother Damir (pictured)

Hamlin has said he is ‘an example I never had’ for his little brother Damir (pictured)

Known for his community work, Hamlin has started a toy foundation which delivers gifts to underprivileged children - here he is pictured working for the scheme in December 2020

Known for his community work, Hamlin has started a toy foundation which delivers gifts to underprivileged children - here he is pictured working for the scheme in December 2020

Known for his community work, Hamlin has started a toy foundation which delivers gifts to underprivileged children – here he is pictured working for the scheme in December 2020

Hamlin pictured alongside his parents in a throwback Instagram post shared by the Bills player

Hamlin pictured alongside his parents in a throwback Instagram post shared by the Bills player

Hamlin pictured alongside his parents in a throwback Instagram post shared by the Bills player

That mission to be a role model also extended beyond his family.

Before Hamlin was a 24-year-old, sophomore safety for Buffalo with 30 games under his belt, he showed a dedication to charity in his local community.

A video appeared Monday evening of Hamlin participating in a children’s toy campaign during his time with Pitt, in which the rookie player spoke about his reasons for giving back.

‘Just seeing role models in person. I feel like that’s big in kids’ lives and that’s something we haven’t always had in Pittsburgh,” he said.

“Just being younger and seeing the difference from some of the people who had those role models in their lives.

“Maybe you just need to work hard and stay focused. I’m thankful that I can even be in this position to give back.”

Hamlin also set up ‘The Chasing M’s Foundation’ to ‘have a positive impact on the community that raised me’, with the charity’s first program, a toy campaign for the holiday season in December 2020.

He explained his motivation for returning the toy rides GoFundMe pagewith its third annual toy drive being held last week.

“As I begin my journey into the NFL, I will never forget where I came from and I am determined to use my platform to positively impact the community that raised me,” he said.

Hamlin pictured next to mum Nina during his playing days as a kid - he said he chose to stay close to home when he went to college so he could be close to his family

Hamlin pictured next to mum Nina during his playing days as a kid - he said he chose to stay close to home when he went to college so he could be close to his family

Hamlin pictured next to mum Nina during his playing days as a kid – he said he chose to stay close to home when he went to college so he could be close to his family

24-year-old Hamlin (right) earns a salary of $825,000 playing for the Buffalo Bills

24-year-old Hamlin (right) earns a salary of $825,000 playing for the Buffalo Bills

24-year-old Hamlin (right) earns a salary of $825,000 playing for the Buffalo Bills

“This campaign gives you the chance to contribute to our first initiative and make a positive impact on children most affected by the pandemic.

“Thank you so much for your support on and off the field. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with you to make the holidays a little brighter for the children in our community.”

Originally set for a goal of $2,500, the page was flooded with donations Monday following news of his serious injury, with the page having $2.6 million in donations at the time of writing.

That’s nearly double Hamlin’s $825,000 base salary for this season.

A quick scan of the page shows well wishes from fans of the 49ers, Cowboys, Eagles, Chiefs, Dolphins, Giants and more.

Fans waited outside the University of Cincinnati Medical Center all night after Monday's game, waiting for good news about Hamlin's condition

Fans waited outside the University of Cincinnati Medical Center all night after Monday's game, waiting for good news about Hamlin's condition

Fans waited outside the University of Cincinnati Medical Center all night after Monday’s game, waiting for good news about Hamlin’s condition

“Damar has consistently been the type of guy that has made me proud to be a Pitt Alumn. This is the least I could do during this difficult time,” said one person.

Hamlin’s friend and marketing representative Jordon Rooney said on Twitter that “player vitality is back to normal,” while his agent Ira Turner told NFL Network there were “no updates on this.”

The Bills will pray that their teammate is OK.

And the Pittsburgh community will hope for a beloved community figure to come through.

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