Damar Hamlin spoke about his reasoning for wearing a controversial jacket to Super Bowl 57. The Buffalo Bills safety took to Twitter on Wednesday to share his side of the story after receiving criticism for the piece of clothing that featured religious imagery.
“After talking with my parents I understand how my coat could have offended some people,” he said. “It was never my intentions to hurt or disrespect anyone, the coat is abstract art to me. It says Eternal which I am Eternally thankful to my Savior!”
The jacket was criticized by seven-time Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson, who said it was blasphemous and “disrespectful.”
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Hamlin was at Super Bowl 57 after a miraculous recovery from a cardiac arrest in Week 17. He was saluted at NFL Honors when he gave a surprise speech to honor the healthcare workers who saved his life.
Damar Hamlin comments on Super Bowl jacket
Hamlin expanded on his explanation of wearing the controversial jacket.
“My beliefs and Relationship with God is not tied to symbolic images,” he said in a second Twitter post. “I will learn from this and continue to walk in Love as I ALWAYS have.”
He also referenced Matthew 7:1-5, which is a sermon from Jesus Christ about not judging others.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged,” the scripture said, in part. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
What was the jacket that Damar Hamlin wore to Super Bowl 57?
The varsity jacket that Hamlin wore was from a collaboration between rapper Travis Scott and artist Takashi Murakami by brand Saint Michael. One side of the front has the message “Without end or beginning, there is no day and there is no night.”
The other side has a face of a Christ-like figure wearing a crown of thorns. The face is the same design as a chain that Murakami made for Scott. Murakami, who is known for his bright colors and abstract figures, has also designed cover art for rapper Kanye West and, in October, did a clothing collaboration with Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
The back of Hamlin’s jacket said “Eternal” and has a paper doll figure being crucified.
A listing on eBay is selling one of the jackets for $6,500.
What did Adrian Peterson say about Damar Hamlin’s jacket?
People were upset over Hamlin’s jacket because of its portrayal of religious imagery. Peterson was especially vocal about the design.
“You should be thanking God son!” the former Minnesota Vikings running back said in an Instagram post. “This is Blasphemy!! We all fall short but cmon man! I find this disrespectful!!”
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Former Jacksonville Jaguars star Fred Taylor commented on the post, suggesting that Peterson should speak directly to Hamlin instead of blasting him on social media.
It appears that Peterson took the advice. He later updated his caption, removing the original message and saying that he spoke with Hamlin and got some understanding on the situation.
“We were able to discuss our thoughts as men. I want to be clear, I’m the last person to judge anyone, and that was never my intention,” he said. “However, I do feel as if the jacket was disrespectful and it was something that I needed to share. I do realize everyone makes mistakes and falls short at times, so again, my intention was never to judge, just to share my opinion.
“… I feel like there are a lot people, young and old, looking up to you and with power and influence comes great responsibility. I apologize for offending you, I just felt offended in that moment as a man who loves and respects our Lord and Savior, Yeshua. After speaking with Damar, I have an understanding that it didn’t come from a place of ill intent!”