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​My husband and I won’t let our son play tackle football

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4ebba274ecbde12e260de321b4691822a06bab73.jpgBuffalo Bills' Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field during the first half of an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Jan. 2, 2022. Photo credit: Joshua A. Bickel / AP

My husband and I won’t let our son play tackle football.

It’s not the most popular decision we’ve ever made, especially among those we know in football-loving Florida.

And we too love football.

Give us Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a Thursday, Sunday or Monday and all is right in the world.

But something went very wrong in the world on Monday night during the Bills vs. Bengals game.

Perhaps not because something is very wrong with this sport, but maybe because something is wrong with...

how we play it,

how we physically and mentally protect those who play it,

the gear the men wear when they play it

and the safeguards and quality assurance in place to protect these young and older men who step out on that football field because

1) it is their passion,

2) and they know it’s our passion to watch them.

I don’t know.

I really don’t know.

I know that so very many things are very right with this sport — very positive, very healthy — but I’m also admittedly someone who knows very little about football.

I don’t have the right words. That I do know.

And I do know that I don’t have any words beyond these that I’ve just shared here with you, but it is on my heart to share something.

Additionally, and worth noting, is that I’m absolutely NOBODY whose words matter on this subject.

But Buffalo Bills’ Damar Hamlin, HE MATTERS.

He matters so, so very, very much.

And so my words, they are with him, and they are URGING you to pray for him and his family.

That’s what I’m doing as my husband and I sit here, watching, waiting, worrying, and praying our guts out.

The world is in your corner, Damar.

We’re here.

We’ve got you.


Related story from Parents are talking, again, about the risks of football after Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest

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