What’s the Super Bowl without just a little bit of drama, amirite?
Last night, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles and claimed the Super Bowl 57 Champion title, but Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was also in attendance at the game.
He was introduced ahead of kickoff to a very warm welcome from fans, who cheered for him as he waived to a full stadium.
Damar suffered a very public cardiac arrest on the field a few weeks ago when the Bills took on the Bengals in Week 17, and miraculously recovered quite quickly, and was looking like the picture of health at the game.
The 24-year-old even sat with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during the game, and donned a Takashi Murakami brand “Travis Jesus” jacket, which featured a picture of a very abstract crucifix on the back and read:
“Without the end or beginning there is no day and there is no night.”
And one former NFL running back in Adrian Peterson, who is the league’s fifth all-time leading rusher, did not appreciate the sentiment.
Adrian posted a photo of Damar’s jacket on his own personal Instagram page, calling it “blasphemy” and saying Damar was being “disrespectful,” as he felt it was it was against their religion (they have both been outspoken about their Christian faith), saying it was God who helped Damar survive and recover:
“You should be thanking God son! This is Blasphemy!! We all fall short but cmon man! I find this disrespectful!! #grateful #goddid”
That comment has since been edited, and there is an entirely new explanation now, where Adrian says that he didn’t mean to pass judgment and he has since spoken to Damar about it personally.
He also apologized for offending him, and said he want to be a mentor to younger NFL players by setting a good example:
“So I spoke with @d.ham3 Damar, and we were able to discuss our thoughts as men. I want to be clear, I’m the last person to judge anyone, and that was never my intention. However, I do feel as if the jacket was disrespectful and it was something that I needed to share.
I do realize everyone makes mistakes and falls short at times, so again, my intention was never to judge, just to share my opinion. Damar, I have respect and love for you and I wish you nothing but the best, but I just can’t rock with that jacket.
I feel like there are a lot people, young and old, looking up to you and with power and influence comes great responsibility. I apologize for offending you, I just felt offended in that moment as a man who loves and respects our Lord and Savior, Yeshua.
After speaking with Damar, I have an understanding that it didn’t come from a place of ill intent! #grateful #god #forgiveness.”
In a separate comment on his own post, Adrian added that he felt the statement was made very intentionally, and he did not believe Damar wore the design by mistake:
“But this was different! I know young people don’t think at times, older as well! But with everything surrounding his situation!! This isn’t one of those moments where it’s a young guy not thinking!”
Damar shared this photo himself ahead of the game, calling it a “blessing” to be at the Super Bowl:
Damar has plans to return to the field eventually, telling ESPN ahead of kickoff yesterday:
“Eventually. That’s always the goal, like I said, as a competitor, you know, I’m trying to do things to keep advancing my situation.
But I’m allowing that to be in God’s hands. I’m just thankful he gave me a second chance.”
He was there to support his childhood friend and Eagles star running back Miles Sanders: