Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is publicly responding to backlash he received over a Jesus-inspired letterman jacket he wore at Super Bowl LVII.
The jacket, which featured a depiction of Jesus Christ, drew criticism from Christians tuning in to the game.
My beliefs and Relationship with God is not tied to symbolic images. I will learn from this and continue to walk in Love as I ALWAYS have. Matthew 7:1-5 🏾💕
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) February 15, 2023
“After talking with my parents I understand how my coat could have offended some people. 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!” Hamlin tweeted Wednesday.
“My beliefs and Relationship with God is not tied to symbolic images. I will learn from this and continue to walk in Love as I ALWAYS have.”
Among Hamlin’s critics was former NFL star and devout Christian Adrian Peterson, who publicly called it blasphemous on his Instagram account Monday. The front of the jacket featured an abstract depiction of Jesus’ face along with the verse, “Without end or beginning there is no day and no night.” The back of the jacket read, “Eternal,” and featured a depiction of Jesus on the cross.
The next day, Peterson updated the post saying he had spoken to Hamlin about the jacket.
“After speaking with Damar, I have an understanding that it didn’t come from a place of ill intent,” Peterson wrote. “I apologize for offending you, I just felt offended in that moment as a man who loves and respects our Lord and Savior.”
Hamlin attended the Super Bowl LVII on Sunday night to help the NFL honor the Bills and Bengals training and medical staffs, first responders and University of Cincinnati Medical Center staff who saved his life after he collapsed on the field and went into cardiac arrest in a Jan. 2 game.