It’s hard to deny that Damar Hamlin’s medical emergency has had a surprising impact on much of American culture.
The mentality of wanting to somehow take a near-tragedy and find meaning in it has been especially noticeable in connection to his toy drive.
Hamlin’s toy drive, the Chasing M’s Foundation Charitable Fund, has brought in about $8.6 million, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Closer to home, though, is what has apparently been happening in the hearts and minds of Hamlin’s teammates, including quarterback Josh Allen.
Allen was recently interviewed on ESPN’s “Kyle Brandt’s Basement,” and in several moments of vulnerability, Allen confided about how Hamlin’s medical emergency impacted him.
“[There was] just kind of kind of a spiritual awakening really for me and I know for a lot of other people that maybe didn’t have the strongest belief, or wasn’t one of the biggest [or] strongest Christian followers.”
Allen went on to state that, “…what transpired here, it’s uh, it’s a crazy, crazy feeling. It’s something I’ve never felt before it’s something that I know a lot of my teammates have never felt before.”
He said he found that the best way to handle it was just to “accept it and lean on your brothers and share that moment with them.”
“That kickoff return was pretty crazy, too. So there’s a lot of things that went on and a lot of … eye-opening situations that have stumbled upon us, or we’ve stumbled upon them.”
“I think it’s been crazy, it’s been not fun, but at the same time it’s been very validating.”
Brandt asked Allen to elaborate on his remark about the kickoff return, when, as Brandt put it, “some sort of miracle happened” — a reference to Nyheim Hines’ 96-yard touchdown from a kickoff return during the game that followed Hamlin’s medical episode in Cincinnati.
NYHEIM HINES RETURNS HIS SECOND KICKOFF FOR A TOUCHDOWN OF THE GAME! pic.twitter.com/kZ8qOm5Unc
— BennyGIFs (@BennyGIFs) January 8, 2023
In the clip, Allen talked about sensing there was something spiritual that happened at that moment. “I was just going around and, I was just going around my team saying, ‘God is real.’ You can’t draw that one up, write that one up any better.”
“God’s real. You can’t draw that one up any better.”
— Bills QB Josh Allen after their win over New England
— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) January 8, 2023
After the clip, he went on to detail how he’d never been struck like that before.
“I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t been the most devoted Christ-follower, in my life, and I’ve had my different beliefs and thoughts and ideas … but something got hold of me there, and it was [something] extremely powerful that … I couldn’t deny.
Even though he was brought up in a Christian home, his mind was much more preoccupied with football all of his life until he watched what happened with Hamlin.
The were other incidents suggesting that something spiritual might have been going on for many people.
ESPN Analyst Dan Orlovsky actually stopped in the middle of a show to pray for Hamlin.
The Bills’ head coach Sean McDermott gathered the team together to pray for Hamlin.
There were prayers that were even going out over various social media platforms.
And these are just some of the incidents that happened to get publicity.
We can only hope, and perhaps pray, that what has happened actually has a lasting impact, and that things don’t go back to business as usual as Hamlin continues to progress in his healing.
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