Damar Hamlin Supporters Linger Outside UC Medical Center: 'The Bengals Fans are Right Here'

Damar Hamlin’s charitable foundation has received nearly $4.8 million in donations, far exceeding its initial goal of $2,500.

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click to enlarge Amber Moran, 19, wears her Bengals jersey to UC Medical Center on Jan. 3 to show support for Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin. - Photo: Madeline Fening
Photo: Madeline Fening
Amber Moran, 19, wears her Bengals jersey to UC Medical Center on Jan. 3 to show support for Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin.

Amber Moran, 19, wore her Bengals jersey to UC Medical Center on Jan. 3, but she’s standing outside the hospital to root on a player from another team – Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin.

"I just came to show my support and love to the Bills family," Moran tells CityBeat.

Moran is wearing Bengals jersey #85, Tee Higgins’ jersey. During Monday night’s game at Paycor Stadium, Higgins collided with Hamlin during the first quarter. After tackling Higgins, Hamlin stood up, then immediately collapsed to the ground.

Hamlin went into cardiac arrest, the team said, requiring nine minutes of CPR on the field as members of both teams looked on in shock. Players openly wept and prayed as emergency crews worked to restart Hamlin’s heart in front of a packed, hushed stadium.

Hamlin was taken off the field in an ambulance while hooked up to oxygen, ESPN reported.

“No one ever wants to see a player down like this,” Moran said.

Hamlin’s condition is still listed as critical as of press time. The Bills said he is sedated as he undergoes tests.

Bengals fans and Bills fans both flocked to UC Medical after the game was suspended to show their support for Hamlin. One of those fans was Brandon Metzger, who returned to UC Medical on Tuesday to refresh the signs of support laid out the night before.

click to enlarge Brandon Metzger works to fix signs of support for Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin outside UC Medical Center on Jan. 3. - Photo: Madeline Fening
Photo: Madeline Fening
Brandon Metzger works to fix signs of support for Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin outside UC Medical Center on Jan. 3.

“I’ve been a Chargers fan my whole life, but I’ve always supported the Bengals and absolutely love the city and the people around me,” Metzger said. “But right now, this isn’t about football; it’s about the Bills player right now that needs the love and support of every American. Bengals are not just an NFL team; Bills aren’t just an NFL team; it’s a family.”

click to enlarge Brandon Metzger works to fix signs of support for Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin outside UC Medical Center on Jan. 3. He said both the Bengals and the Bills are more than NFL teams, they're family. - Photo: Madeline Fening
Photo: Madeline Fening
Brandon Metzger works to fix signs of support for Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin outside UC Medical Center on Jan. 3. He said both the Bengals and the Bills are more than NFL teams, they're family.

click to enlarge Signs of support for Damar Hamlin line a fence outside UC Medical Center. - Photo: Madeline Fening
Photo: Madeline Fening
Signs of support for Damar Hamlin line a fence outside UC Medical Center.

The league made the call on Tuesday to suspend the Bills-at-Bengals game until further notice, saying it will not be rescheduled for any time this week.

Standing outside of UC Medical in the rain, Moran said Bengals fans are focused on Hamlin right now, not the game.

"Cincinnati is here for him. The Bengals fans are right here,” Moran said.

Hamlin’s charity, The Chasing M’s Foundation, received a massive wave of donations on GoFundMe following his collapse. The foundation, which supports kids from his hometown of Pittsburgh with toys, school supplies and kids' camps, has received nearly $4.8 million in donations as of press time, far exceeding its initial goal of $2,500.

Players and fans from both teams have taken to social media to wish Hamlin well. Scroll through the collection below to see the outpouring of support.



Follow CityBeat's staff news writer Madeline Fening on Twitter and Instagram.

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