President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he spoke to the family of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin this week after the 24-year-old went into cardiac arrest during the NFL’s Monday Night Football game.
Hamlin collapsed with about six minutes left in the first quarter of the game against Cincinnati after he tackled Bengals receiver Tee Higgins following a 13-yard catch. After the tackle, Hamlin got up, took a step backward, and fell to the ground.
Biden told reporters, “I spoke to his mother and father at length,” when asked what his message was to Hamlin’s family.
When asked if he thought the NFL was “getting too dangerous,” Biden responded, “No. Look, the idea that you’re going to have — look, you got guys that are 6’8”, 340 pounds running a 4.8 40. I mean, you know, you hit somebody with that kind of force — now, that’s not what happened here.”
“But I just think it’s a — I don’t know how you avoid it,” Biden continued. “I don’t — I think working like hell on the helmets and the concussion protocols — that all makes a lot of sense. But it’s — you know, it is dangerous. You got to just acknowledge it.”
The Bills said in a statement following the incident that 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,” the team said in its initial statement on his health status. “He is currently sedated and listed in critical condition.”
Dorrian Glenn, Hamlin’s uncle, told CNN that doctors had his nephew “flipped over on his stomach” to help with the blood on his lungs because he sustained “some damage to his lungs,” the report said.
Hamlin is still sedated and on a ventilator, Glenn added.
“His heart had went out so they had to resuscitate him twice,” Glenn said. “They resuscitated him on the field before they brought him to the hospital and then they resuscitated him a second time when they got him to the hospital.”
Glenn said that it seems like Hamlin is “trending upwards in a positive way.”
Local sports reporter Josh Reed added that Glenn gave him a little more information on Hamlin’s health.
“Just spoke with Damar Hamlin’s uncle. Damar was originally on 100% oxygen and is now down to 50%,” Reed said. “Says the family is hanging in there. He thanked Bills fans, and Bengals fans and asked for continued prayers.”