Some Wild Conspiracy Theories About Football Player Damar Hamlin Have Been Making the Rounds

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Mar. 27 2023, Published 6:23 p.m. ET

Misinformation and conspiracy theories are certainly nothing new, but the past few years of divisiveness and uncertainty in the United States have certainly given rise to a lot of them on the internet. Platforms like Twitter and TikTok, popular as they are, have been infamous examples of places where people have spread all sorts of rumors and baseless theories that do more to harm our already-delicate social fabric than to inform anyone about anything. Yet these conspiracy theories persist.

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Since the beginning of 2023, football player Damar Hamlin has been the subject of several such conspiracy theories. In case you aren't aware, Damar Hamlin is a professional football player for the NFL and currently acts as a football safety for the Buffalo Bills. He was drafted to the NFL back in 2021 and has been an active part of the Bills ever since.

However, an ongoing health scare inadvertently has made Damar Hamlin the face of several conspiracy theories. Let's break them down.

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Football player Damar Hamlinis the subject of several conspiracy theories.

During a game on Monday Night Football that took place on Jan. 2 of this year, Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest after tackling a player on the other team. The attack was severe enough that he needed to be resuscitated with a defibrillator. He was later hospitalized that night in critical condition. Reportedly, the cause of the cardiac arrest has not been officially confirmed, though Damar himself has been tight-lipped about the cause in subsequent press interviews.

The incident was harrowing, to say the least, especially as his condition seemed to take a few turns during his hospital stay. Luckily, after a number of hospital transfers and his condition steadily improved, he was discharged and deemed well enough to continue his rehabilitation at home.

However, the nature of his health scare and ongoing recovery seems to have opened the floodgates for conspiracy theorists to tout some outlandish rhetoric online.

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Right-wing radicals have since attempted to use Damar's condition as a platform online to push their agendas. Known anti-vaxxers have attempted to conflate his cardiac arrest with his COVID-19 vaccination status, claiming that the vaccine was what led to his condition. Some have even accused him of using a body double during public appearances, suggesting that a look-alike is acting in his place while he is still in critical condition.

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Damar and his Buffalo Bills teammates have already responded to the controversy, mostly to refute any and all of the conspiracy theories linked to the Bills' safety. On his own TikTok, Damar stitched a conspiracy theorist's video asking where Damar Hamlin is, where he pops up and yells "Boo!" in reply.

Other Bills like Cole Beasley and Dawson Knox have also taken to Twitter to refute claims that Damar is using a body double or a "clone."

These days, people will take any opportunity to spread misinformation and false facts.

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