Damar You Know

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Damar Hamlin is the starting safety for the Buffalo Bills. The former sixth round pick got the job after previous safety, Micha Hyde, went down with a season ending neck injury. In a week 17 game vs the Cincinnati Bengals, Damar Hamlin was performing a routine hit on Bengals receiver, Tee Higgins. After the hit, Hamlin got up but immediately fell backwards on the ground showing no signs of life. After nine minutes of CPR, Hamlin was escorted via ambulance to a medical center in Cincinnati. Later, it was found out that Hamlin had been hit in his heart at the perfect time and spot to send him into cardiac arrest. Hamlin’s injury has shocked and altered the sports world for years to come. A major posing question is how this is going to affect athletes at the collegiate level, as some athletes may believe that it’s not worth it anymore to risk your body just to play a sport. 

“Hopefully people will understand that the injury/emergency situation happened during a completely legal and normal contact (hit) that happens in football many times,” offensive line and assistant quarterback coach, Scott Millard said.

It is still not 100% proven what has caused Hamlin’s injury. The hit that sent him into this medical scare happens multiple times a game to multiple people. This uncertainty can cause rifts in the decisions of parents and children on playing a sport like football. 

“Sometimes parents are reluctant to allow their kids to play football because of fear of injury. If parents don’t understand this particular situation, they may be fearful of allowing their child to play football at all,” Millard said. 

In a high school sport situation, it is the parent’s decision on if they want to allow their child to participate in a sport. Hamlin’s injury, being so life threatening, may sway the opinions on parents. Due to the recency of the accident, a new high school football season has yet to take place. This gives the athletes and parents plenty of time to decide and make a penultimate choice.

“I think coaches are trained well and do a good job of teaching players how to be safer and do things such as tackling and blocking with the best/safest technique possible,” Millard said. “I think having knowledgeable coaches, athletic trainers, medical personnel, etc. at the games are critical to the care of injuries and also when dealing with emergency situations.”

It has been proven that without the Bills’ trainer, Denny Kellington, Hamlin would’ve lost his life. In a football game scenario, if a player was to go down due to injury the medical staff and trainers of the team rush to the player and safely escort them off the field to a medical tent or hospital. Having the proper people that know how to give medical care to players that have suffered tears, neurotrauma, or in this case, cardiac arrest, is crucial to the safety and performance of players. This was in an NFL circumstance. High schools don’t have the medical staff that the NFL or even colleges have. If a scenario like this played out in a high school circumstance, this would have resulted in death or neurological damage in the player.

These risks and injuries will never stop football, a sport beloved and participated in by many, from thriving, growing or being played. 

“I love the game of football. I played it when I was young. I have coached it for many years and my son played the game. I enjoy watching it,” Millard said. “The game has so many benefits to it, and it helps mold young people by teaching many things such as responsibility, teamwork and taking care of their bodies.” 

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