9 minutes. This is the time Dumar Hamlin received his CPR on the field as two of his NFL teams, 65,000 fans and a national television audience watched. The Buffalo Bills safety appeared to be a regular tackle on Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, who fell from what is now said to be cardiac arrest after getting up. At the time of writing, he is in critical condition after being transported from the scene by ambulance. His mother attended her games on the road with the rest of Damar’s family, so she rode with him.
This alone is a stunning indictment to the sport of soccer. But when it was announced that the player, visibly traumatized by the extent of medical intervention to stabilize Damar after being removed from the field, would warm up for his five minutes before resuming play, horrified. turned into anger. The callousness of this league never fails to shock. Players are treated like equipment, easily found and easily disposed of. The famous phrase in soccer, “Next Man Up,” actually says that when your colleague is handicapped, it’s your turn at the threshing machine.
But the Bengals and Bills players and coaches had seen enough and refused to “play”. The match has been postponed on request. This was workplace behavior. Participants exercised collective power and demanded that their trauma, grief and humanity be acknowledged. The game will not progress.
Finally, 59 minutes after the fact, after the players and coaches had made the decision for him, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the game would be postponed.
Don’t truncate words. Goodell should be fired immediately. It won’t be forgotten anytime soon that players basically had to leave the field to call the game. It’s another chapter in his history, as a reactive, reactionary figure. he obeys. He sticks his finger in the air and follows the prevailing wind wherever it goes. He hasn’t said or done anything about the movement to save black lives, with massive demonstrations following the police killing of George Floyd in 2020 and a surge in players leading to his (His final comment, coming from the man in charge when Colin Kaepernick was “blackballed,” was eye-opening.)
It wasn’t until Ray Rice’s video leaked and required a public outcry that he said or did nothing about the violence against women incidents involving players. He had nothing to say about the persistence of his CTE and traumatic brain injury until he was forced to settle the dollar. Now The owner loves him because he helps him become filthy rich. He’s also a world-class anti-aircraft catcher, as I assure you in the coming days.
The league is about the end result, which is why Goodell’s instincts told him the show had to go on. But this is the Big Apple he’s not a circus. This is a gladiatorial martial art that relies on black players, black bodies, and black minds who make up his 70% of the league’s players. Denying their humanity is an integral part of the NFL’s brand.
Pressing the box ghouls of these owners to fire Goodell won’t solve these problems, but it’s worth asking. Players are more valuable than those who follow the economic winds. They deserve defenders. Ask Bills. Ask a Bengali. Just ask the family of Dumar Hamlin.