Damar Hamlin thanks God at NFL Honors gala

by mcardinal

Curt Flewelling, FISM News

On Thursday night, Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin was honored at the 2023 NFL Honors gala. The young safety wasted no time telling the packed house who he thanked most for his amazing recovery from life-threatening cardiac arrest. Hamlin started his speech by saying, “I’d like to thank God for even being here.”

The gala usually recognizes the league’s top players, but this year’s format was a little different. In the middle of the program, some two dozen “Team Damar” heroes were welcomed on stage with a standing ovation.

The team consisted of the medical and training staff of both the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, along with the medical staff from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The group is credited with saving the 24-year-old’s life after he collapsed on the football field after a routine tackle in the first quarter of the game.

It has been quite a week for Hamlin. In the span of just a few short days, he received the prestigious Alan Page Community Award for his charitable work with kids and then the next day he was recognized at the NFL Honors banquet.

In the midst of these two honors, NFLPA Medial Director Thom Mayer boldly stated on the Sirius XM Doctor Radio show “Heart to Heart,” “I guarantee you that Damar Hamlin will play professional football again.”

As much as a return to the NFL would be amazing, the reflective young man seems to understand that his destiny might be even greater than a miraculous return to the pros.

Hamlin admits that prior to his life-threatening injury, his goals were pretty straightforward, as he confesses, “My vision was about playing in the NFL and being the best player that I could be.”

He continued, “But God’s plan was to have a purpose greater than any game in this world.” As frighteningly uncertain as all of this has been, this scare has brought some clarity to his purpose. 

In this new chapter of his life, Damar Hamlin acknowledges, “I have a long journey ahead, a journey full of unknowns and a journey full of milestones, but it’s a lot easier to face your fears when you know your purpose.”

The grateful Hamlin ended the evening by saying, “Thank you to everyone around the country and around the world who prayed for me and hoped for me… the journey will continue.”