The internet is buzzing after a bizarre appearance by Buffalo Bill’s safety Damar Hamlin on Sunday when he attended a playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, his first public appearance after suffering a cardiac arrest on the field earlier this month.
The rumors surfaced after videos of his appearance emerged online that showed Hamlin with his face covered. Despite numerous cameras, the broadcast never showed a clear shot of Hamlin, prompting some to speculate that it wasn’t really him.
More radical theories have emerged speculating that Hamlin never recovered from his cardiac arrest and is in fact deceased and the person people saw on Sunday was a body double or even a clone.
Hamlin tweeted on Jan. 24, “Thankful for all the GENUINE love, thoughts & prayers from all across the world.. Y’all will hear from me soon!” But, this didn’t address the speculation.
While Hamlin did not come out onto the field during Buffalo’s 27-10 loss to Cincinnati he did visit his teammates in the locker room.
Bills’ quarterback, Josh Allen, called the rumors “stupid” on a recent episode of the Kyle Brandt’s Basement podcast, adding that he personally saw Hamlin in the locker room on Sunday.
Addressing the rumors Allen said, “One, that’s Damar’s swag. He likes wearing that. Two, he was in the locker room with us, pre-game. So, yes, that was Damar. There’s absolutely zero chance. There’s absolutely zero chance. That’s thee Damar Hamlin. That’s our guy.”
People are now calling for Hamlin to hold a press conference to quell the speculation.
“I think it’s time Damar Hamlin did a press release. Too many people think he is dead,” one twitter user commented while Nick Adam’s told his over 480k followers, “I have no reason to believe that the NFL would lie to us about Damar Hamlin’s health. But just to be 100% sure, I would like to get a close look at the man to make sure everything is in working order. This will do A LOT to restore trust with the people raising valid concerns.”
Others argue that the theories have emerged due to a loss of trust in institutions.
“These Damar Hamlin conspiracy theories only show how much trust we have lost in the establishment,” posted one Twitter user.
While Hamlin has shown a remarkable improvement since collapsing on the field and enduring rib breaking CPR on Jan. 2, he still faces a lengthy recovery.
Jordan Rooney, Hamlin’s marketing representative, told Fox News, “Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly to ensure there are no setbacks or after effects. Though he is able to visit the team’s facility, Damar is not in position to travel often, and requires additional rest to help his body heal.”
Hamlin appears to be toying with the theories, posting a picture to Twitter with the caption “Clone” while wearing the same outfit he did to Highmark Stadium next to a mural of him in Buffalo.