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Athletes are People Too...and Need to Be Treated as Such

As I watch the terrifying situation unfold in regard to Damar Hamlin and tonight's game, I scrolled through Twitter to get the latest updates regarding Hamlin's condition. As a human being with empathy, the game itself took a backseat, and a man's health and well-being took the front. I hope and pray that Damar Hamlin is okay and recovers. There truly are no words to describe such an unprecedented, awful situation. If you do not already know, Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during play after making a hit in Monday night's game between the Bengals and Bills. He was unresponsive, had to be administered CPR, and is currently in the hospital in critical condition.

When I got on Twitter, the obvious outpouring of support and love for Hamlin in such a difficult time was to be expected. What was not expected, however, was the anti-vaxx opinions, the tweets regarding the game and game only, acting as if the Hamlin injury was some sort of footnote rather than a moment of life and death for a man, paying zero respect and empathy to his teammates, his family, and to Hamlin himself, and just overall being downright sociopathic in regard to a man's condition. Human life outweighs the importance of sports by a mile, but it seems to some that that is not the case. Some of those people, are at the highest levels of the NFL.

You see, this is not an isolated situation. A major case of it, but certainly not isolated in regard to how the NFL, its fans, and its media pundits show empathy (or lack thereof) towards the players that play this game. Something needs to change in the way we view athletes and their well-being. They are human beings themselves and deserve to be treated as such. They have families, friends, lives outside of the game, and emotions and humanity that must be preserved just as yours and mine should. To go and completely dehumanize someone, to treat their life as a commodity, is the lowest form of disrespect you can give someone, yet we see it every day. Whether that be the guy throwing around racial slurs at the player that may not have scored well in Fantasy, to the NFL being completely ignorant to head trauma and the health and well-being of its players, to situations such as this where people would rather worry about a game than a man's life. The NFL WANTED TO RESTART the game 5 minutes after that traumatic experience for those players and coaches, and that incident right there speaks volumes on how little people at the highest form of this organization care for these athletes and how it has translated to the fans of sport. It happens most egregiously in the NFL but happens with every league in the USA. As a society, we must change how we view these athletes. They are human too and deserve respect and humanity from everyone at every level. The respect that thou shall give their fellow man, as it is written in our moral code. Treat those as you want to be treated, it's a saying we learn from a very young age, but unfortunately things such as sports make some of us forget. For those of you that forget, please educate yourself and learn empathy, until then you should live in shame. Do better. My prayers and thoughts are with Damar Hamlin, I pray he pulls through.

No Burn Notice for this article, please just listen and read these words. My heart aches tonight for Damar, the Bills players and coaches, and for his family and friends.

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