Monday Night Football suddenly became a somber scene. When Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin took a hit, got up for a second only to collapse, the stadium went dead silent.
The focus shifted from a high-stakes football game with much riding on it, to a night where all that mattered was simply a human life. Football didn’t matter anymore. What mattered was the health of Damar Hamlin.
At first, the announcements attempted to lead viewers to believe that the game was being put on hold for a few minutes. But, the tone changed quickly when Bengals head coach Zac Taylor walked across the field and talked with Bills head coach Sean McDermott.
It felt as though Taylor thought these teams had no business continuing to play, and that’s precisely what ended up unfolding. The game was postponed, per a statement from the NFL. Also from the NFL, the only official update we’ve heard on Hamlin is that he is in critical condition.
It is unknown, at this very moment, what exactly happened to Hamlin on that football field.
What we do know is that these two coaches made the right decision for their players, staff, and those close to Hamlin himself. Playing the remainder of this game would have been an impossible task.
To make these players go back out and play a football game would be unfair, dehumanizing and completely disrespectful to Hamlin and his loved ones.
When the game will be rescheduled remains to be seen, and quite frankly, does not matter in the least bit right now. The game cannot, and should not be played until there is a concrete update on the status of Hamlin and what his immediate future looks like.
For now, all we can do is pray for Hamlin’s healing. We can think of his family. We can focus on what really matters in life, and that my friends, is far greater than football.
For those who would love to show their support for Hamlin and his family, you can donate to his toy drive.