The conspiracy surrounding Damar Hamlin is absurd

What is commotio cordis?

Zara Lantzman, Asst. Opinion Editor

On Jan. 2, the National Football League came together for more than just a game.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin attempted to tackle Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins on a routine play, and in that moment, everything stopped. 

A pin drop could be heard with the silence in the stadium. Players rushed to Hamlin while shedding tears.

Hamlin was clinically dead on the field and was unresponsive for nine minutes. Denny Kellington, one of the team’s athletic trainers, helped to resuscitate Hamlin, saving his life.

“Denny Kellington, let’s praise this name and person for reviving our brother Damar on the field,” tweeted Bills offensive lineman Dion Dawkins. “Denny gave CPR and chest compressions to get his heart back beating.”

After spending several days in Cincinnati and Buffalo hospitals, receiving numerous tests, Hamlin was finally released. However, despite making various public appearances, conspiracy theorists had a field day with Hamlin’s status.

There is a lot of speculation that Hamlin is legally dead, allegedly falling victim to the COVID-19 vaccine, and he was instead replaced by a body double. 

This claim seems extremely outlandish and completely unreasonable. 

Hamlin’s recovery was televised and reported throughout his entire journey. Hamlin even facetimed with Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders. He was also seen in person hyping up the crowd at the Bengals v. Bills AFC divisional game on Jan 22. 

Hamlin’s injury was known as a rare condition known as commotio cordis. 

Dr. Partha Nandi, in an interview with ABC news, explained that commotio cordis occurs when young athletes get hit in the chest. 

“Trauma to the chest occurs when the area of the heart is hit at a particular rhythm which causes the heart to bleed and forces the person to collapse,” said Dr. Nandi

For this to happen is just pure luck. It was just extremely unlucky and everyone is grateful that he is recovering successfully. 

“24-year-old elite athletes in the NFL don’t just have cardiac arrest in the middle of a prime time game” tweeted bodybuilder Louis Uridel. “This is squarely on the back of every single person who pushed that poison, required it and shamed people who didn’t get it.”

When anything goes wrong medically, anti-vaxxers automatically claim it is due to the COVID-19 vaccine. This claim is completely outrageous and false. Hamlin’s recovery proved the claim to be false. 

Hamlin is not the first athlete to have received such widespread news coverage about his near-death experience caused by commotio cordis.

One instance was former National Hockey League defenseman Chris Pronger, who suffered cardiac arrest during the 1998 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He experienced commotio cordis after a high speed puck hit him directly in the chest, and he collapsed on the ice almost immediately, similar to Hamlin. Pronger made a full recovery, and has since spoken out about his own experience in support of Hamlin on Twitter, detailing the events of his recovery.

Pronger explained that he was evaluated by Dr. Barry Maron, “who would then go on to classify this incident as commotio cordis. Dr. Maron also told [doctors] that at the time [Pronger] was the only pro athlete to have survived this type of cardiac event.” Although rare, it was a notably identifiable condition.

“And at the time, 1998, I was one of only four people [Dr. Maron] had in his database that had survived a documented commotio cordis event” said Pronger.

For Hamlin, as of this moment, no prior heart condition was found. It was just a freak accident and could have happened to anyone. 

“Clone,” tweeted Hamlin, in response to the dumbest conspiracy theory that Damar Hamlin was cloned. 

The speculation comes from the fact that Hamlin never showed his complete face when he showed up to the AFC divisional round. There was a clip shown of him talking to Bills players, but in a ski mask and with his hair covering most of his face. All you can see was his eyes.

The other clip that has fans running wild with theories is that he was able to move his hands and body freely to cheer for his team and hype up the crowd. Theorists believe that it should not be possible to move your body that quickly and energetically so soon after being clinically dead. 

Theorists also believe that the Bills planted a player and said it was Hamlin to give the Bills motivation for the playoff game.

There is a reasonable reason for anything one may see. Hamlin is still in recovery and needed to protect his body from the frigid temperatures in Buffalo, hence the ski mask. 

Every single one of these claims are completely baseless and can be proven wrong with facts. The fact of the matter is that Hamlin is alive and recovering. That is what truly matters.