NFL

Damar Hamlin: Journalist Marshall Kramsky describes 'bone-chilling' Bills-Bengals incident

By Sports Desk January 03, 2023

Journalist Marshall Kramsky described the "bone-chilling experience" of being in the stadium as Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest in Monday's game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kramsky, who covers the Bengals, was reporting on the fixture at the Paycor Stadium.

The game was suspended after 24-year-old Hamlin, who as of Tuesday was in critical condition in a Cincinnati hospital, collapsed on the field.

Hamlin received emergency treatment, including CPR, before he was transported from the stadium in an ambulance.

"I've never seen a stretcher come out so fast. I'm a former athlete myself and in my journalism career or in my sports career, I've never seen such quick action," Kramsky told Stats Perform.

"We heard the mics of the players, [Bengals running back] Joe Mixon screaming 'check him out, check him out!' after Damar Hamlin got up and collapsed.

"The players were immediately extremely emotional. I've never seen so many players crying, adult men hysterical. The ambulance comes out shortly after, CPR is going on for about 10 minutes, the AD defibrillator, that's being used. They're shocking his heart back to life.

"And then, not a fan left the stadium. Everyone and every player was still on the field kneeling, praying or crying."

The NFL eventually elected to suspend the game, though Kramsky never had any doubt it would be called off.

"This game was over as soon as he went down, which is crazy because that doesn't happen in professional sports," he added.

"The NFL took a while to make their decision. But it wasn't like they really made it, it was never a decision. It was just a matter of getting through the appropriate rungs.

"They're seeing the players, Joe Burrow the Bengals quarterback went into the Bills locker room later on. I saw Josh Allen extremely teary-eyed going into the Bengals locker room. It was emotional. Nobody really processing it, because how do you? 

"It was a bone-chilling experience in the stadium. Players were still there until past one o'clock in the morning. It was a crazy night."

Kramsky was at least able to take some solace in the fact that fans of both teams, and from across the sporting world, have united behind Hamlin.

Having been drafted by the Bills in 2021, Hamlin established the Chasing M Foundation Community Toy Drive, and the fund raiser had received over $3million in donations in the wake of the incident.

"Tragedy brings people together and sports brings people together," Kramsky said.

"Yes, incredible. Unfortunately, not surprising, because it takes tragedy for this to happen. And it has brought people together.

"If you look at his GoFundMe for his toy drive, it had for over two years less than $3,000 raised. There's over $3million raised now.

"So yeah, as soon as that stretcher came out football became secondary. No one cared, it was all about Damar Hamlin and his family. And people did come together.

"Bills fans and Bengals fans are coming with candles praying, standing outside the stadium, outside the hospital. It's been a nice experience in that regard."

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