WASHINGTON. Rep. Colin Allred, Dallas Democrat, helped drive a bipartisan moment of recognition on the floor of the US House of Representatives on Thursday, noting the news that Damar Hamlin, a security guard for the Buffalo Bills, had been released from the hospital.
Hamlin collapsed after wrestling with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during last week’s Monday Night Football game. He went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the pitch in a moment that shocked players, coaches and fans.
Allred, a former Tennessee Titans linebacker, stood next to fellow former NFL player Rep. Burgess Owens, Utah on Thursday to welcome Hamlin home.
“Football has some flaws, but it can also bring us together, remind us of what really matters, and Damar’s perseverance has inspired millions and once again highlighted the generosity and kindness of the American people,” Allred said. “Damar, congratulations on your recovery. We are all with you.”
Allred was asked about Hamlin’s injury Sunday on CNN and said every member of Congress can benefit from playing a team sport.
“Football is an incredibly dangerous and violent game. This also taught me a lot. It’s part of me,” Allred said. “I don’t think my boys – I have two sons – will play football. But I also understand that there are aspects that teach leadership, commitment, an idea that you are a part of. . . something bigger than yourself that we could use a little more.”
Earlier this week, Allred raised the issue with a deleted tweet by Sen. Ted Cruz, D-Tex., citing speculation that the COVID-19 vaccine contributed to Hamlin’s downfall.
Assumptions that people, in particular athletes, fall because of the vaccine have been repeatedly refuted.
Conservative actor Kevin Sorbo tweeted: “It’s strange how these healthy athletes started to randomly pass out. . . there must be climate change.”
Allred shared a screenshot showing Cruz quoting Sorbo’s comment on Twitter with a thoughtful emoji.
“The hint that Damar Hamlin’s injury was caused by a vaccine is a new low even for Ted Cruz. I’m not surprised he removed it,” Allred wrote. “Damar’s injury and recovery has demonstrated the athletic ability to bring us together and our capacity for compassion. Something Ted Cruz will never understand.”
Cruz fought vaccination mandates and introduced a proposal to reinstate and pay the wages of servicemen discharged by the military for refusing to get vaccinated, but the proposal fell through in the Senate.
“Sep. Cruz has fought to ensure that healthcare decisions remain between individuals and their doctors and out of the hands of government bureaucrats,” Cruz spokesman Dave Vasquez said Tuesday. “He was proud to have led the fight against vaccination mandates in the military and will continue to fight for the reinstatement of any member of our military who has been punished for not receiving a vaccine for COVID-19.”