Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin has apologized for offending people over his Jesus-inspired letter jacket he wore to Super Bowl LVII, where he was honored and celebrated.
Hamlin’s jacket drew the ire of former NFL star Adrian Peterson, who called it blasphemous. The jacket featured what appeared to be an image of Jesus Christ on his left chest and a message on his right side that read: «Without end or beginning there is no day or night.» On the back of the jacket, it read, «Eternal,» with Jesus on the cross.
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«After talking to my parents, I understand how my coat might have offended some people. It was never my intention to hurt or disrespect anyone, the coat is abstract art to me. Eternal says I am forever grateful to my Savior! !» Hamlin tweeted.
«My beliefs and my Relationship with God are not tied to symbolic images. I will learn from this and continue walking in Love as I ALWAYS have.»
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Peterson later said that he spoke to Hamlin about his criticism.
“Then I spoke with Damar and we were able to discuss our thoughts as men. I want to be clear, I am the last person to judge someone, and that was never my intention,» Peterson wrote. «However, I feel like the jacket was disrespectful and was something I needed to share. I realize everyone makes mistakes and falls short sometimes, so again, my intention was never to judge, just share my opinion.
«Damar, I respect and love you and only wish you the best, but I can’t rock out in that jacket. I feel like there are so many people, young and old, admiring and empowering you.» And with influence comes great responsibility. I apologize for offending you, I was only offended at the time as a man who loves and respects our Lord and Savior, Yeshua. After talking with Damar, I understand that he did not come from a place of bad intentions!»
Hamlin appeared at Super Bowl LVII on Sunday night and helped honor the medical professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who saved his life.
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Hamlin was celebrated in Arizona on NFL Honors and Super Bowl weekend as he continues to make progress in his recovery. He went into cardiac arrest on January 2 during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He needed to get his heartbeat back on the field and was rushed to the hospital.