Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is receiving care in Cincinnati after he suffered cardiac arrest during Monday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Since then, the 24-year-old has had the “top selling jersey across all sports,” a Fanatics spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo Sports.
Before he was drafted in 2021, Hamlin expressed a commitment to care for his community by giving back to his hometown of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. In his honor, Fanatics, the NFL and NFLPA are donating all proceeds from Hamlin’s sales to his Chasing M’s foundation, as announced by Fanatics co-chair Michal Rubin on Tuesday.
In the same spirit, over 220,000 people have donated to the cause as well. As of Wednesday, the GoFundMe amassed $7 million.
The community toy drive fundraiser was initially established in 2020. Hamlin's representatives updated the page Wednesday, saying they were "awestruck" at the "support and generosity" shown during the difficult time.
They vowed to continue to update the fundraiser and expressed hope for “Damar's future involvement."
Hamlin continues to be critically ill and in intensive care, but a Thursday update from his doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center reflected a positive trend. They said there has been "substantial improvement in his condition over the past 24 hours."
As fans, players and organizations unite in Hamlin’s honor, teams are making efforts as well. On social media, every NFL team’s profile photo reads “Pray for Damar” above his No. 3.
Hamlin chose to have the motto “choose love” on the back of his helmet, the newest of seven messages the league permits players to display. As he fights to recover, that message represents the overwhelming hope the NFL community continues to foster.