Bills’ Damar Hamlin Gets Standing Ovation at Syracuse-Duke Game

Damar Hamlin Syracuse

Getty Damar Hamlin motions to fans at a Syracuse University men's basketball game.

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin got plenty of love as he took in a Syracuse Orange basketball game on Saturday.

The 24-year-old attended Syracuse’s game against Duke on February 18, giving the home fans one of their only chances to cheer during what was otherwise a rough game with Syracuse losing 77-55. Hamlin received a standing ovation when shown on the video screen, with the Bills player smiling and waving to fans.


Cuse Fans Show Love to Hamlin

Hamlin has made a few appearances since collapsing on the field during the team’s January 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, suffering cardiac arrest on the field and needing CPR. Though Hamlin remained hospitalized for nine days after the incident, he has been in the process of recovering and shown gratefulness to fans for their support.

Hamlin shared some video from his trip to Syracuse in his Instagram stories, showing fans cheering him on as he arrived at the JMA Wireless Dome, previously known as the Carrier Dome. The Twitter page for the Syracuse Men’s Basketball program also shared a video of Hamlin at the game.

As Ryan Talbot of Syracuse.com noted, Hamlin attended the game as a guest of local businessman Adam Weitsman, who has brought on some other famous guests during the season. In a game just before Christmas, he hosted Bills quarterback Josh Allen and wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis.


Hamlin Using His Attention for Good

In the weeks since the initial incident, Hamlin has found ways to harness the attention and support he has received from around the world to further some good causes. Fans raised more than $9 million to support his foundation, and in the week before the Super Bowl the Bills safety won the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award.

Taking the stage with his parents to accept the award, Hamlin said he wanted to follow the example they set and give back to his community.

“Giving back to my community has always been a big part of who I am,” Hamlin said, via ESPN. “I’m thankful to my father, who’s right here behind me. Growing up, just watching him do community days in our community, and I just always was waiting on my time when it came.”

Hamlin also acknowledged the responsibility he felt in seeing that the funds raised after his collapse were put to good use. Though the GoFundMe campaign was originally created to support a toy drive that had since ended, Hamlin and his family said they would be used to support wider efforts to help children in the community.

“One of my favorite quotes: It’s a blessing to be a blessing,” Hamlin said. “With that being said, I plan to never take this position for granted and always have an urgent approach in making a difference in the community where I come from and also communities across the world.”

Prior to the appearance, Hamlin announced a partnership with the American Heart Association to promote CPR education. The NFL picked up the initiative, offering education opportunities for fans in Phoenix the week before the Super Bowl.

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