Former NFL player and Utah Congressman Burgess Owens recognized Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s “fighting spirit” on the House floor Thursday.
Owens, a Republican, joined Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, also a former professional football player, to celebrate Hamlin’s inspiring perseverance and recovery.
“Damar Hamlin’s fighting spirit and his faith inspired all Americans. His miraculous recovery has reminded us of the power of prayer. He has been in the prayers of millions over the last two weeks, his teammates, his opponents,” Owens said.
I joined @RepColinAllred on the House Floor to celebrate Damar Hamlin's fighting spirit that has brought Americans together and reminded us of the limitless power of prayer.— Rep. Burgess Owens (@RepBurgessOwens) January 12, 2023
May God be with Damar Hamlin and his family as he continues on the road to recovery. pic.twitter.com/L49bupdoUr
Owens recognized Hamlin as a “young man whose strength comes from God and his family.”
“We have seen our nation’s heart of empathy, one that blesses us with the opportunity to dream, to struggle, to overcome, and the ultimate prize to inspire and bless others,” he said.
Hamlin, 24, collapsed after tackling Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. After the play, Hamlin stood but suddenly fell to the ground. Video shows he took a hard blow to the chest during the collision.
After more than nine days in two hospitals in Cincinnati and Buffalo, Hamlin was discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute, the team announced Wednesday. He is now at home in Buffalo with his family to continue his recovery.
Allred said football has some downsides, but it also has the power to bring people together to “remind us of what really matters.” Hamlin’s perseverance inspired millions, he said.
“And once again highlighted the generosity and fundamental goodness of the American people,” he said.
Allred congratulated Hamlin on his recovery, telling him “we are all with you.”
Football brings us together, something we could learn a thing or two about here in Congress. @HamlinIsland’s perseverance in his recovery has been an inspiration to the whole country and I was proud to honor him today with my colleague @RepBurgessOwens on the House floor. pic.twitter.com/86wFTnkid6— Rep. Colin Allred (@RepColinAllred) January 12, 2023
The NFL community has rallied around Hamlin since his injury, including by praying for his quick recovery. NFL players wore “Love for Damar” shirts at final regular season games last weekend and participated in moments of support for him on the field.
Meanwhile, NFL fans have been donating to Hamlin’s foundation, which serves young people in need through events like toy drives. In the days since his injury, a GoFundMe created by the Chasing M’s Foundation has raised more than $8 million.