Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday reacted to Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, who’s from Pittsburgh, going into cardiac arrest during a Monday night NFL game.
Hamlin, 24, reportedly suffered cardiac arrest following a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter. The game was suspended and then ultimately postponed. Medical professionals administered CPR on the field, and Hamlin was whisked off in an ambulance some 16 minutes after the collapse. He is currently at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he’s been sedated and is in critical condition.
Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest following a hit in our game versus the Bengals. His heartbeat was restored on the field and he was transferred to the UC Medical Center for further testing and treatment. He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 3, 2023
“I’ll say this about Damar Hamlin,” Tomlin told reporters Tuesday. “Man, it’s a really personal thing for me, being a Pittsburgher, and that young man being a Pittsburgher. I’ve known that guy probably since he was about 12.”
“Just got a lot of respect and love for him as a human being, his commitment to the pursuit of his goals and dreams of doing what it is he’s doing right now, which is playing in the NFL … to make that a realization,” the coach continued. “It’s just an honor to get to know young people like that, I’ve had the opportunity to express that to him whenever I see him.”
Tomlin expressed gratitude to see the maturation of players like Hamlin, who realized his dream. “I’ve got a lot of love for that young man, we’ve lifted him and that organization (the Buffalo Bills) up in prayer,” he said, adding that he respected the media’s understanding of how “personal” this matter is to him and others.
“It’s a really personal thing for me, being a Pittsburgher.”
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin talks about his relationship with Damar Hamlin
“I’ve known that guy probably since he was about 12.” pic.twitter.com/ZiIpTbPh5Y
— Emily Giangreco (@EmilyGiangreco) January 3, 2023
Players from both the Bills and Bengals quickly reacted with prayer, some tearfully, after the incident.
— Austin Luff (@AJMMA_) January 3, 2023
Following the game, Bills quarterback Josh Allen simply posted to Twitter, “Please pray for our brother.”
Please pray for our brother.
— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) January 3, 2023
The Bills tweeted, “The thoughts and prayers of all of Bills Mafia are supporting you, Damar.”
Other NFL players reacted, too, including Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt, who posted, “The game is not important. Damar Hamlin’s life is important. Please be ok. Please.”
The family of Hamlin on Tuesday released a statement thanking fans and both teams for their support and prayers.
A statement from the family of Damar Hamlin. pic.twitter.com/I0QFQehUc0
— NFL (@NFL) January 3, 2023