HOUSTON – Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is in a hospital intensive care unit in critical condition, in the fight of his life after a scary collision and cardiac arrest he suffered Monday night.
And the Texans, the NFL community and fans across the country are rallying their support for the injured second-year defensive back from Pitt.
The Texans made a $10,003 donation to Hamlin’s rapidly growing GoFundMe page, which has over $6.2 million in donations after his initial modest goal of raising $2,500 to purchase toys for children in need.
The $3 part of the donation is symbolic, a nod to Hamlin’s jersey number. And the Texans and all NFL teams are using Hamlin and 3 as their avatar on social media accounts in a show of solidarity with Hamlin.
The Texans have several connections to Hamlin, including rookie defensive tackle Kurt Hinish, his teammate at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, former Bills teammates Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison and former Pitt college teammate Jimmy Morrissey.
“Praying for you brother,” Hinish wrote on social media.
“Pray,” Hughes wrote on Twitter.
Hamlin remains sedated in a Cincinnati hospital, and the game, initially suspended, will not be played this week. Football is not the most important thing is the message the league is delivering.
Several recent donations from the NFL community include Robert Kraft and the New England Patriots ($18,003), Matthew Stafford ($12,000), Russell and Ciara Wilson ($10,000), Tom Brady ($10,000), Davante Adams ($5,000), Washington Commanders ($5,000), Julian Love, Andy Dalton and Josh McDaniels.
Hamlin launched the GoFundMe in December 2020 as he completed his career at Pitt before being drafted in the sixth round by the Bills. His mother co-owns a facility called Kelly and Nina’s Daycare center in his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, a town with a population of 6,000.
“As I embark on my journey to the NFL, I will never forget where I come from and I am committed to using my platform to positively impact the community that raised me,” Hamlin wrote. “I created The Chasing M’s Foundation as a vehicle that will allow me to deliver that impact, and the first program is the 2020 Community Toy Drive. This campaign gives you the opportunity to contribute to our first initiative and positively impact children who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.”
Hamlin, who lost friends to gun violence growing up, wanted to give back.
“Damar created The Chasing M’s Foundation to use as a vehicle to bring lasting impact to his community,” his foundation wrote Tuesday. “The foundation supports toy drives, back-to-school drives, kids camps, and more.”
Aaron Wilson is a contributor to KPRC 2 and click2houston.com