Damar Hamlin Speaks out Publicly for First Time Since Cardiac Arrest

Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin just shared his first public comments since suffering cardiac arrest during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. Hamlin posted a six-minute video to his social media accounts thanking everyone for their continued support. The 24-year-old also said he was waiting to speak publicly for the "right time" since it was "just a lot to process within my own self — mentally, physically, even spiritually."

"I can't tell you how appreciative I am of all the love, all the support and everything that's just been coming in my way," Hamlin said, per ESPN. "What happened to me on Monday Night Football I feel is a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and my love directly from my heart with the entire world and I'm able to give it back to kids and communities all across the world who need it the most, and that's always been my dream. That's always been what I stood for and what I will continue to stand for."  

The video comes nearly a week after Hamlin made his first public appearance during the Bills' playoff loss to the Bengals. Over the last few weeks, Hamlin has been active on social media, thanking his fans for their support. In the video, Hamlin also talked about the money raised for his Chasing M's foundation which is now over $9 million. 

"That was something that was started even way before I made it to the NFL, something that was started small just to be able to affect my small community back at home, McKees Rocks [Pennsylvania]," Hamlin said. "I just wanted to be able to play my role and do my part in my community as I ventured off and to chase my dreams of making the NFL, and you guys have just took that and blown it away, and I'm so excited for the things that I have planned in the future for these kids all across the country now."  

Before Hamlin collapsed on the field, he was one of the Bills' top players, recording 91 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two passes defended. He signed a four-year contract with the Bills in 2021, and his salary for the 2022 season was paid in full despite ending the season in injured reserve.