Tee Higgins Praises Damar Hamlin's Family Amid Criticism From NFL Fans

Football fans continue to breathe sighs of relief as the news of Damar Hamlin improves. After the terrifying scene on "Monday Night Football" on January 2, 2023, and the horrible criticism players like Tee Higgins have faced, it's reassuring to have more good news.

In case you've forgotten, Buffalo Bills safety Hamlin tackled Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Higgins during the first quarter of the January 2 game, per CBS Sports. Hamlin initially stood up after the play, but then collapsed on the field in an apparent cardiac arrest. Fortunately, the medical team on the field leapt to immediate action and performed CPR on Hamlin, giving him oxygen and taking him to nearby Cincinnati UC Medical Center while terrified fans watched in shock.

Horrifically, some began criticizing Higgins, blaming him for the incident — including former NFL player and commentator Bart Scott on ESPN's First Take (per NFL reporter Dov Kleiman). Scott claimed Higgins "lowers his helmet" in an illegal play, insinuating the hit may have caused the cardiac arrest. Though others, like Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, called Scott out for his comments, per TMZ, many on Twitter also attacked Higgins for his supposed role in Hamlin's hospitalization, so much so that Hamlin's own father called for the criticism to stop.

Fortunately, Higgins has the support of Hamlin's family, as he finally shared in his first official statement since the terrifying incident.

Tee Higgins is grateful for comments from Damar Hamlin's mother

Though Tee Higgins initially tweeted his support for Damar Hamlin on January 2 after Hamlin's harrowing accident, Higgins has been quiet the last few days. As reporters followed his every move, Higgins finally spoke out in a press conference on January 5, particularly grateful for the kind words he received from Hamlin's mother amid the criticism. "Damar's mom ... texted me this morning and told me, you know, about everything, and it made me feel even more at home," Higgins said. "I really appreciate them, you know just hearing from them and them having my back as well."

Hamlin's family was "mad" and "frustrated" by the criticism against Higgins for his supposed role in the incident, as Hamlin's friend and marketing rep Jordon Rooney told Spectrum News 1. "If you think you're supporting Damar by bashing Tee, you're not supporting Damar," Rooney said, adding that Higgins had gone "above and beyond" in reaching out to Hamlin's family. "The family feels bad that Tee would have any guilt towards this situation."

Higgins is also relieved, of course, that Hamlin is feeling better, after it was announced Hamlin awoke at the hospital on the evening of January 4, per CBS Sports. "He's doing good, so I'm in a good place right now," Higgins told Fox19. He appreciated that Hamlin's mom told him that "she's thinking of me, praying for me, and things like that."