Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin was recently caught on camera wearing a jacket during the Super Bowl that many deemed “blasphemous.”
The jacket, a creation of Takashi Murakami, Yuta Hosokawa, and Cali Thornhill DeWitt’s ©SAINT M ×××××× label was called “Travis Jesus” and allegedly “incorporated ‘SAINT YOUTH’ patches stitched on the sleeves, crucifixion motifs on the back, Murakami-style Jesus artwork on the left chest, and ‘Without End or Beginning There is no Day and no Night’ quote on the right.”
The reaction to the jacket was intense, with former NFL star Adrian Peterson blasting Hamlin for wearing the “disrespectful” jacket. After receiving criticism, Hamlin has since apologized, stating, “It was never my intentions to hurt or disrespect anyone, the coat is abstract art to me. It says Eternal which I am Eternally thankful to my Savior!”
After talking with my parents I understand how my coat could have offended some people. It was never my intentions to hurt or disrespect anyone, the coat is abstract art to me. It says Eternal which I am Eternally thankful to my Savior! (1/2)
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) February 15, 2023
He went on to post, “My beliefs and Relationship with God is not tied to symbolic images. I will learn from this and continue to walk in Love as I ALWAYS have. Matthew 7:1-5”
Hamlin is a 24-year-old player from Pittsburgh who is known among his fellow players as a serious, practicing Christian. Before his collapse on Jan. 2 during a game between his Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, Hamlin often expressed his deep Christian faith. He was given CPR twice before getting to a Cincinnati hospital and spent several days in a coma, but in only a month he was back up on his feet and released from the hospital. His fundraiser for toys for needy kids jumped by millions in donations after his collapse.
In an interview ahead of the Super Bowl, Hamlin told KCRA-TV, “My entire life, I felt like God was using me to give others hope and now with a new set of circumstances, I can say he’s doing what He’s always done. I have a long journey ahead, a journey full of unknowns and a journey full of milestones, but it’s a lot easier to face your fears when you know your purpose.”
Even after he was released from the hospital and spoke to fans, he reiterated his trust in God, crediting his quick recovery to God’s love.
While some felt Hamlin’s jacket was blasphemous, it is clear that his faith is sincere and his apology was genuine. Hamlin’s apology was welcomed by many, as it showed that he was willing to take responsibility for his actions and learn from his mistakes.