Former Pittsburgh Panthers safety Damar Hamlin is still continuing his battle after sustaining a cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football. While Hamlin is continuing to show signs of progress as of Wednesday morning, he remains in critical condition and continues his fight.
The entire world of sports continues to show support for a person who had made a tremendous impact on the Pittsburgh community. Hailing from McKees Rocks, Hamlin always wanted to give back and be a role model to the community he called home.
Hamlin’s foundation, Chasing M’s, has seen donations from across the sports world and at the time of writing is currently 6.6 million dollars for toys for kids.
Players, owners, and entertainers across all sports and fields can be seen scrolling through the list of donors to the foundation. Wrestler Chris Jericho even donated twice after misspelling his name the first time. The link for the GoFundMe can be found here.
Hamlin has been running the toy drive since 2020 and it has left a lasting impact on the local youth around the area. Hamlin had always been proud of where he had come from and the hard work he had seen from his family and wanted to give back when he had the chance to.
Damar Hamlin at his annual holiday toy drive…this drive is still active on GoFundMe and now has almost $700K in donations https://t.co/SMCjBFaIHZ pic.twitter.com/qCdsHueGHe— Wu-Tang is for the Children (@WUTangKids) January 3, 2023
At the hospital, fans continue to hold vigils from Hamlin. Bills and Bengals fans can be seen arm in arm offering support and prayer for the continued recovery of Hamlin. Fans not around the area continue to show support in any way they possibly can. Since Monday night Damar Hamlin has the highest-selling jersey on Fanatics. In response, Fanatics will donate all proceeds from Hamlin jersey sales to his organization.
One final prayer circle outside UC Medical Center from Bengals and Bills fans for 24-year-old #DamarHamlin.— Valerie Lyons (@VLyonsTV) January 3, 2023
No further updates from hospital staff tonight. As it stands, Hamlin remains in critical condition. @WCPO pic.twitter.com/Q2w7aTpCPC
Amongst the league, the entire NFL has been in solidarity with their support for Hamlin. Every NFL team’s profile is updated to Hamlin’s name and number. NFL Stadiums across the US can be seen lit up in blue and red with messages of support. Even outside of the NFL, you can see stadiums in the MLS also lit up for Hamlin. Players from across all major sports continued to pour in their support. Players like Donovan Mitchell and LeBron James took the time to offer their support for the Bills’ safety.
Football is family ❤️ pic.twitter.com/bGbCMGCIWG— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2023
Just last night, the University of Pittsburgh honored Hamlin before their basketball game with a touching tribute. Jeff Capel post-game opened up his press conference by giving his thoughts and Pat Narduzzi touched on the importance and impact that Hamlin had on the community.
“Damar Hamlin is far more than just a football player. He’s a loving son, brother, and friend. Damar is a hero to thousands of Pittsburgh kids.
“Damar, we love you. We are praying for you. Pittsburgh’s always had your back. And now it’s obvious the entire country has your back, too.”
Pitt delivers a touching tribute video for Damar Hamlin during a break in the first half of its home game against No. 11 Virginia. pic.twitter.com/3O2B6fvpRi— Noah Hiles (@_NoahHiles) January 4, 2023
A lot gets lost in the world of sports and competition sometimes. There are those out there that forget the human aspect of sports and that these players are more than just athletes. They are more than a fantasy score, more than just a football player, more than just someone meant to entertain. They are sons, they are brothers, and they are human. Damar Hamlin continued to show that as he always made sure to give back and really wanted to be someone the kids looked up to the moment he decided to commit to Pitt to show local kids that they can do it too. Hamlin continued to come back and give back to the local community after being drafted into the NFL so he could always be a visible presence that they can do anything and be anything that they wanted to be.
With the amount of love and support Hamlin has given to his friends, family, and community, it is heartwarming to see all that love and support now shown back to him when he needs it the most.