‘I don’t know how you avoid it’: President Joe Biden faces questions about football’s dangers after Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest, but says ‘it’s dangerous, you have to just recognize it’
President Joe Biden reflected on the dangers of football after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during Monday’s game against the Bengals in Cincinnati.
Asked if he believes the NFL is ‘very dangerous,’ Biden stressed that the dangers of the sport are inevitable.
‘Don’t look,’ Biden began. I don’t know how you avoid it [dangerous hits]. I think working like hell on helmets and the concussion protocol, that all makes a lot of sense. But…it’s dangerous, you just have to accept it.’
President Joe Biden weighed the dangers of football after Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during Monday’s game against the Bengals in Cincinnati.
The ambulance leaves the field with Buffalo Bills Damar Hamlin (3) after he was injured during a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half of the game at Paycor Stadium
Biden added that he had been in touch with Hamlin’s parents, saying: ‘I spoke to his mother and father at length.’
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle with Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of Monday’s game. He was given CPR in the field and required resuscitation. He is now in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
‘We all remain optimistic,’ Jordon Rooney, a family spokesman who described himself as a good friend of the player, told The Associated Press by telephone. He said he was unable to elaborate on Hamlin’s status at his family’s request not to provide details.
Rooney’s update came after Hamlin’s uncle Dorrian Glenn told multiple media outlets Tuesday night that there were some encouraging signs in his nephew’s progress, such as doctors lowering the oxygen level that Hamlin needed from 100 percent to 50 percent.
‘He’s still sedated now,’ Glenn told CNN. ‘They just want him to have a better chance of a better recovery. So, they think, if he’s sedated, his body can heal faster than if he’s awake and potentially cause other complications.’
‘He seems to be trending upwards in a positive way,’ Glenn added.
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle with Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter of Monday’s game. He was given CPR in the field and required resuscitation. He is now in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center
Without knowing the exact cause of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, many have suggested that football was to blame for the terrifying scene in Cincinnati on Monday night.
Some fans have questioned whether NFL players would change the way they tackled if they didn’t have the protection of padding.
One Twitter user commented: ‘I wonder what would happen if they removed all the pads and gave them leather helmets?
‘The reason they go through the wall with hits is because they’re wearing armor. You [don’t] look at dudes launching themselves like that in rugby.’
In the wake of Hamlin’s cardiac arrest, another social media user said: ‘@NFL Time to revisit equipment helmet, body armor, whatever. Don’t wait another day… get in touch with these companies and scientists – let’s do it. Thank you #damarhamlin.’
While one said: ‘I realize it’s counterintuitive but football could be safer from organ impact injuries if there was less armor on the body, not more.
Body armor increases the force of impact contact between players. It can protect against some injuries but not this one.’
The horrifying incident brought attention to whether body armor should be used in the NFL