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Sports world sends messages of support to Damar Hamlin following on-field cardiac arrest

<i>Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters</i><br/>Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson (90) reacts to the injury of safety Damar Hamlin (not pictured) during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium.
Joseph Maiorana/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson (90) reacts to the injury of safety Damar Hamlin (not pictured) during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium.

By Matias Grez, CNN

Messages of support for Damar Hamlin have been pouring in from around the world of sport following the Buffalo Bills safety’s on-field collapse.

Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and fell onto his back moments after tackling Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during Monday’s NFL game. The 24-year-old remains in critical condition as of early Tuesday morning at a Cincinnati hospital.

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted shortly after the incident, writing: “Wow. I am praying for you @HamlinIsland. Praying for health and safety.”

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt said on Twitter: “The game is not important. Damar Hamlin’s life is important. Please be ok. Please.”

The Pittsburgh Panthers football program at the University of Pittsburgh, where Hamlin played collegiate football, added: “Damar Hamlin is the best of us. We love you, 3. Praying for you.”

Hamlin, a Pennsylvania native, joined the Bills in 2021 as a sixth-round draft pick from the University of Pittsburgh. He has played every game this season.

The Bills’ game against the Bengals was suspended at 5:58 of the first quarter, then officially postponed. The NFL said more details on next steps would come at an “appropriate time,” adding that Hamlin’s wellbeing was the priority.

The Bengals official Twitter account wrote after the incident: “Sending our thoughts and prayers to Damar.”

Higgins, the Bengals wide receiver involved in the collision with Hamlin, said: “My prayers and thoughts go out to @HamlinIsland the Hamlin Family. I’m praying that you pull through bro.”

Baker Mayfield, quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, wrote: “Unbelievably sad…. Heart is extremely heavy right now. Prayers for @HamlinIsland his health and the Hamlin Family now. Life is too important.

“Cherish every moment.”

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tweeted: “Praying hard… please be okay man.”

American tennis player Jessica Pegula, the daughter of Bills owner Terry Pegula, called the incident “terrible” after her United Cup tennis match in Australia.

“There’s really no words,” she told reporters, per Reuters. “I’m glad they stopped the game. It brings you back to there’s a lot of bigger things that are more important than sports and games. It was pretty scary.”

She later tweeted: “In moments like this we are reminded of perspective. It’s just a game and in the end it does not matter after what happened tonight. My prayers go out to Damar and his family. This team is family, football is family, sports bring us together like family.”

Fellow American tennis star Coco Gauff added: “Sending my prayers to Damar and his family. I’m wishing him a full and safe recovery. It is bigger than sports … we should all continue to surround him and his family with prayer and positivity.”

The Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants were among the NFL teams to send messages of support.

The Chargers said the organization’s “thoughts + prayers are with Damar Hamlin, the Bills and Bills Mafia,” while the Giants said the team was “praying for Damar Hamlin and the entire Buffalo Bills organization.”

After his historic 71 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ win over the Chicago Bulls on Monday, NBA star Donovan Mitchell told reporters he wants to “say prayers up for the Bills safety.”

“I heard about it, I didn’t see it,” Mitchell said. “But you know I wish him and his family … we’re praying for him, all of us in the locker room. From the Cavaliers organization, we want to wish the best and praying everything goes well.”

LeBron James, who had a historic night of his own after becoming just the second player in NBA history aged 35 or older to record back-to-back 40-plus point games, told reporters: “I seen the play, but I don’t know what happened.

“My thoughts and super prayers go up to the skies above for that kid’s family, for him, for that brotherhood of the NFL, and everybody who’s a part of the NFL family.

“It’s definitely the right call, by whoever made that call, Roger Goodell [NFL Commissioner] or whoever had the authority to make that call to suspend that [game].

“The safety of players in all sports is always the most important. It was a terrible thing to see.”

James added: “I’m a huge fan of the NFL. I’m a huge fan of football. You never want to see anything like that happen in the type of competition they’re playing in.”

In a tweet accompanied by a video of Hamlin greeting his family at the side of the pitch, James later tweeted: “Praying for you kid!!!”

Mike Trout, a 10-time Major League Baseball All-Star, was among a number of MLB players to send messages of support, saying: “Prayers up for Damar Hamlin.”

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