Former NFL running back Adrian Peterson was one of those who expressed their outrage over Damar Hamlin’s fashion choice at Super Bowl LVII. The Buffalo Bills player, who rose to fame after collapsing on the field with a cardiac arrest in January, donned a $3,000 Takashi Murakami jacket that carried an image of Jesus Christ on the left front and a message that read “Without end or beginning there is no day and there is no night” on the right. But it was the cartoonish image of Christ on the cross with “Eternal” written across it on the back of his clothing that raised many eyebrows.
This Jacket Worm by Damar Hamlin at the Super Bowl is a bit disturbing. This might not be the best way to show gratitude to Jesus after what had happened to him on the field recently. pic.twitter.com/Je7LauQ2Hm
— James Desvallons (@jciltv) February 13, 2023
After seeing pictures of Hamlin’s garb, Peterson took to Instagram to express his disappointment. He argued that this was not a situation where he could excuse away as young people just making mistakes when it comes to fashionable choices, but rather one that showed disrespect for God and thus should not be overlooked. His opinion was met with criticism from former NFL RB Fred Taylor, who suggested that Peterson should have approached Hamlin more privately than publicly shaming him; however, Peterson maintained his stance.
Fortunately, Peterson eventually reached out to Hamlin directly to discuss the issue further. On Sunday he wrote an apology on Instagram saying, “I want to be clear, I’m the last person to judge anyone…I do feel as if the jacket was disrespectful and it was something I needed to share… After speaking with Damar, I have an understanding that it didn’t come from a place of ill intent!” He then went on to emphasize how power and influence comes with great responsibility for those who are looked up to by others – both young and old – and wished Hamlin only positive things going forward.
Though some found Damar’s attire inappropriate and offensive, it seems clear that these thoughts did not come from any kind of malicious intent or disdain for faith. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Throughout his career he has been vocal about how God has helped him make it through difficult times in his life. Sometimes even well-meaning actions can seem off-putting or disrespectful though they may not have been intended as such, which is why communication between parties involved was key here in avoiding any further misunderstanding or hard feelings being spread around needlessly.
Sometimes kids are just kids and make stupid decisions because they may think it’s cool or don’t think at all.
I’m absolutely disgusted by Damar Hamlin’s jacket choice at the Super Bowl.
This is not how you pay homage to God, especially after he saved your life. This is blatant mockery and I don’t like this not one bit . #superbowl2023 #SuperBowlSunday #SuperBowlLVII pic.twitter.com/asbGmZwNap
— Mr. Santucci (@HoodiePap14) February 13, 2023
Damar Hamlin spat in the faces of all those that prayed for him and sat outside his hospital holding prayers. Wearing a jacket that says “eternal” w a zombie like Jesus crucified on the back. What a disgrace. pic.twitter.com/yXZv88CaAY
— Tatted.Vet.Dad (@vet_tatted) February 13, 2023
Here’s a better view of Damar Hamlin’s blasphemous jacket.
Our prayers might have saved his life, but apparently not his soul. pic.twitter.com/Xdz1D8IoSo
— Stew Peters (@realstewpeters) February 13, 2023