Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski Show Support for Bills’ Damar Hamlin

Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady

Getty Former Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski (left) and QB Tom Brady.

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski took a break from being his fun-loving, sanguine self on Monday, January 2.

Gronkowski assured Buffalo Bills second-year safety Damar Hamlin of his prayers after Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during Monday’s Week 17 game between the Bills and Bengals.

Hamlin collapsed suddenly after a routine tackle, and medical personnel treated Hamlin with CPR and a defibrillator for nearly 10 minutes before an ambulance took him to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Hamlin remains in critical condition as of 1:23 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, the Bills confirmed via Twitter.

“All the love and many prayers for Damar, his family, and the #BillsMafia,” Gronkowski tweeted on Monday. “We are with you.”

Gronkowski, who played for the Bucs from 2020 to 2021, grew up in Buffalo. He had been linked to the Bills in free agency in recent years, but he retired a second time in 2022 after two seasons with the Bucs and nine with the New England Patriots.

Hamlin, a second-year player for the Bills, didn’t play in last season’s game against the Bucs, but has emerged as a full-time starter in 2022.

Tom Brady Donates $10,000 to Damar Hamlin’s Charity

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady joined in a sea of social media reactions from the Buccaneers community on Tuesday, January 3, tweeting: “We’re praying for Damar and his family this morning in Tampa. Moments like this put into perspective what it means to play this game we love. Thankful for our communities in Cincinnati and Buffalo for the overwhelming level of care and support I know they’ll continue to provide.”

Later on Tuesday, Brady became the latest big-name NFL player to show financial support to Hamlin, making a $10,000 donation to Hamlin’s community toy drive posted on GoFundMe.

The fund, which Hamlin started back in 2020 while attending the University of Pittsburgh, had an initial goal of raising $2,500. As of 3 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, donations exceeded $4.5 million from over 150,000 individual donors, including some notable NFL stars like Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, Andy Dalton, Devin McCourty, Andrew Whitworth and others.

Damar Hamlin’s Family Full of Gratitude for Outpouring of Support

On Tuesday, January 3, Hamlin’s family publically expressed their gratitude, via Hamlin’s marketing representative, to the millions of people who have supported Hamlin in less than 24 hours since the incident. Hamlin’s family also asked for more prayers and promised updates on Hamlin’s condition.

“We also want to acknowledge the dedicated first responders and healthcare professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, who have provided exceptional care to Damar,” the Hamlin family’s statement reads. “We feel so blessed to be part of the Buffalo Bills organization and to have their support. We also want to thank Coach Taylor and the Bengals for everything they’ve done.”

The NFL postponed the Bills-Bengals game just after 10 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, just over an hour after Hamlin’s collapse. That postponement remains indefinite and “will not be resumed this week” according to a statement from the league on Tuesday. It also won’t affect the Week 18 schedule, per the statement.


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