Damar Hamlin’s On-Field Collapse is a Harsh Reminder of Football’s ‘Ugly’ Side, According to Ryan Clark

Damar Hamlin (Buffalo Bills)

Ryan Clark, former NFL player and current ESPN analyst, shed light on the harsh realities of football after Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, highlighting the sport’s dangerous side.

Hamlin experienced cardiac arrest during the Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. The Bills announced that his heartbeat was restored on the field, and he is currently in critical condition at a Cincinnati hospital.

Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the field (Buffalo Bills)

Clark expressed on ESPN, “Tonight, we witnessed a brutal aspect of football that is rarely acknowledged.” The game was suspended as players from both teams were visibly shaken by the incident.

“This situation is about Damar Hamlin, a young man of 24 living out his dream, now fighting for his life,” Clark stated. When Hamlin collapsed, Bills trainers immediately attended to him. An ambulance arrived on the field within five minutes, and CPR was administered, as reported by ESPN.

Clark, who once collapsed during a game in 2007 due to complications from a sickle cell trait, shared his perspective: “When you see the medical team rush to the field, you realize this is far from a typical game scenario.”

Clark was hospitalized and had his spleen and gall bladder removed, missing the rest of the season. He later transitioned to an ESPN analyst role for NFL and MMA coverage.

“I’ve been through a similar experience, and I remember my teammates visiting me in the hospital, deeply emotional, believing I might not survive,” Clark recalled during the ESPN broadcast. “Now, this team faces a similar situation with no clear answers.”

Clark urged the football community to show empathy for players who risk their lives for the sport. “Next time we criticize a player for not performing well or view them as mere commodities because of fantasy football, we should remember that they are putting their lives on the line.”

Clark’s insights have received widespread praise on social media. Sports writer Jason Mackey tweeted, “Scott Van Pelt and Ryan Clark are handling this incredibly well.

It’s a difficult situation, and they’re doing it with perspective, honesty, and emotion.” Former sports writer Matt Lindner noted that their coverage will be “taught in journalism classes for years to come.”

Former NFL player Dante Stallworth also commented on CNN, emphasizing the brutality of the sport. “People often forget how dangerous football can be,” Stallworth said, pointing out that Hamlin’s mother witnessed the incident firsthand.

“Players are sometimes seen more as commodities, especially with fantasy football. We must remember they are human beings with families.”

Stallworth commended the decision to suspend the game, something he believes wouldn’t have happened in the past. “Years ago, the game would likely have continued. Seeing players from both teams in tears was a powerful indication of the gravity of the situation,” he said.