Damar Hamlin attended the Buffalo Bills playoff game on Sunday, a heartwarming moment after he collapsed on the field just a few weeks ago due to cardiac arrest. This led some to conclude that he was dead.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 22, 2023
Hamlin has been steadily recovering since the terrifying January 2nd incident that medical experts have said could have killed him or left him neurologically damaged. He awoke from a coma on January 5th and after trips to two hospitals, has been recuperating at home. A family spokesman told ESPN that «Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly. He has visited with the team a few times but he still gets winded very easily. He’s upbeat and positive and ready to continue to overcome this.»
During his recovery period, Hamlin has been keeping up with his team and was able to attend Sunday’s playoff game, where the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Buffalo Bills 27-10 in a snowy affair. He watched from a box seat where he was heavily bundled up against the Buffalo cold but was able to wave to a crowd of adoring fans.
Damar Hamlin taking in the game from the Bills’ suite ❤️💙
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 22, 2023
Though a heartwarming story for most people, some have used Hamlin’s life-threatening injury to promote conspiracies, particularly anti-vaccination conspiracies surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine. Some suggested that Hamlin’s collapse was in some way related to being vaccinated, a claim with no proof that has been strongly refuted by doctors.
Apparently, the next step in this conspiracy was to allege that Hamlin was not actually attending Sunday’s game and the «Hamlin» America saw was a body double to cover up for a deceased Hamlin. One key aspect to support the theory was that viewers did not see Hamlin’s face clearly, as it was bundled up in winterwear. A less skeptical person might point to the fact that it was 30 degrees and snowing in Buffalo to explain why Hamlin was so bundled up, but to conspiracy theorists, it meant the NFL and other nefarious powers didn’t want America to get a clear look at «Hamlin’s» face.
I don’t know about you guys, but to me something is very “off” about this…
Apparently, Damar Hamlin was back at the stadium yesterday watching the Bills play for the first time since his cardiac arrest…
1. “Damar” is VERY heavily controlled by security. pic.twitter.com/UIO9PZYIAB
— Amy Lancaster🇺🇸 (@AmyLanc84991473) January 24, 2023
I equally believe there was a Damar Hamlin body double at the Bills game and simultaneously that it’s him and he may have stroke face, or some other reason to hide his face at the game. pic.twitter.com/PTrqmQGWI9
— Brian McWilliams (@BrianMcWilliams) January 24, 2023
I’m sorry, but this Damar Hamlin episode at the Bills stadium is beyond suspect. Why wasn’t his family with him in the box and why did he never take his ski mask off? WTF is going on here? #bodydouble?#damarhamlim #conspiracytheory #VaccineDeaths pic.twitter.com/5HHq6aZslq
— Vidmax.com (@Newsfilter2) January 24, 2023
The theory was swiftly shut down by many, including Hamlin himself. The safety tweeted a picture of himself next to a mural painted in his honor with a joke caption: «Clone.»
“Clone” 🥷🏽 pic.twitter.com/CLpfDsNzrV
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 24, 2023
Additionally, Bills teammates have posted pictures of Hamlin visiting the team’s facility during his recovery period. TMZ went so far as to call people close to Hamlin to get their take on the conspiracy, and were able to include that Hamlin is in fact alive and attended the Bills game Sunday.