Damar Hamlin received the NFLPA’s highest honor Wednesday when the union announced he is the recipient of this year’s Alan Page Community award.
The other four finalists included Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones, Commanders tackle Charles Leno Jr., Raiders tight end Darren Waller and Buccaneers linebacker Devin White. All five were weekly Community MVPs at some point during the season. For Hamlin, his time came during Week 18 after he went into cardiac arrest a week prior. Donations flooded into his Christmas toy drive, reaching nearly $5.5 million within the first 24 hours after his medical emergency.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the GoFundMe page has raised more than $9 million for the Chasing M’s Foundation toy drive.
During the Bills’ Monday Night Football game in January, Hamlin made what appeared to be a routine tackle. However, after getting up on his feet, he soon collapsed. He was administered CPR and transported to a local hospital in Cincinnati, where he stayed for several days.
Hamlin was eventually transferred back to New York and released soon after but did not make any public comments until he posted a lengthy ‘thank you’ message on Instagram on Jan. 28.
“What happened to me on Monday Night Football was a direct example of God using me as a vessel to share my passion and my love directly from my heart with the entire world,” Hamlin said. “And I’m able to give it back to kids and communities all across the world who need it the most. And that’s always been my dream, that’s always been what I’ve stood for and I will continue to stand for.”