Former NFL star Adrian Peterson ripped into Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin following his decision to wear a controversial jacket at the Super Bowl.
Hamlin, 24, has made a miraculous recovery since he suffered an on-field cardiac arrest during the Bills’ game against the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2 and was honored on the field at Super Bowl LVII Sunday.
However, while the NFL and the rest of the sporting world continued to celebrate his recovery, Hamlin drew ire from some, including Peterson, for his outfit.
Throughout the season-ending showdown, Hamlin was seen sporting a blue letterman-style jacket that featured the image of an altered face of Jesus on the front, with the word ‘Eternal,’ and a similarly-designed image of a crucifix on the back.
Peterson, who is a devout Christian, was particularly scathing of Hamlin’s choice and took to Instagram to blast the safety.
Former NFL star Adrian Peterson ripped into Damar Hamlin over his controversial jacket
The blue letterman-style jacket that featured the image of an altered face of Jesus on the front, with the word ‘Eternal,’ and a similarly-designed image of a crucifix on the back
‘You should be thanking God son!’ the legendary running back wrote in a since-altered caption. ‘This is Blasphemy!! We all fall short but c’mon man! I find this disrespectful. #grateful #goddid.’
The 37-year-old later edited his post to reveal that he and Hamlin had cleared the air as they were able to ‘discuss our thoughts as men’ and apologized for offending him.
However, Peterson did also maintain his opposition to the attire as he insisted it was still disrespectful.
‘So I spoke with Damar, and we were able to discuss our thoughts as men,’ Peterson wrote in his amended caption. ‘I want to be clear, I’m the last person to judge anyone, and that was never my intention.
‘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.
‘Damar, I have respect and love for you and I wish you nothing but the best, but I just can’t rock with that jacket. 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!’
The jacket was made by artist Takashi Murakami with a reported $3,150 price tag, according to TMZ, and Hamlin was also spotted wearing it as he sat in the stands alongside Donna Kelce, the mother of Jason and Travis Kelce, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The legendary running back blasted the jacket as ‘blasphemy’ before editing the caption
The 24-year-old was seen sporting the jacket alongside Donna Kelce (C) and Roger Goodell (L)
The safety was also spotted in the attire with the altered face of Jesus on the field pregame
In the weeks since his collapse, Hamlin has expressed his faith and thanked God for his recovery, including during an emotional speech during the NFL honors on February 9.
A photo of Hamlin sporting the jacket alongside NBA superstar LeBron James, which went viral, was one of several to split fans on social media over the attire.
As of Tuesday morning, Hamlin has not issued a statement addressing Peterson’s remarks or his jacket.
Hamlin collapsed on the field after a collision with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins during the Bills’ Week 17 game against Cincinnati.
He has spent much of the last two months recovering in Western New York, and made a brief appearance at a Bills-Bengals playoff game in Orchard Park, waving to fans from a luxury suite atop the Highmark Stadium crowd.
Bills medical staffer Denny Kellington successfully resuscitated him by performing CPR for roughly nine minutes before Hamlin was rushed to a Cincinnati hospital. He was later transferred to a Buffalo medical facility and has since been discharged.
Before the showdown, Hamlin was honored along with the medical staff that cared for him
Hamlin (left) had a cardiac arrest after a tackle playing against the Bengals back on January 2
He made an appearance at NFL Honors, which also honored training and medical staff
Hamlin was joined on stage at the the NFL Honors Thursday night and they all received a warm welcome from the crowd at State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona Sunday night.
In his first interview since the incident, the 24-year-old told Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan that he had watched the hit ‘once or twice’ while in the ICU, but admitted he struggles to rewatch it too much.
When asked if he remembered standing up after landing the hit, he also confessed that it was something that he ‘doesn’t really want to get too deep into detail.’
‘Just a crazy feeling,’ Hamlin told Strahan. ‘Something I can’t describe yet, something I’m still processing and something I’m trying to work through, you know, why that happened to me.’
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