Damar Hamlin and the Dangers of Sports

Senior Karina Cruz making a jump shot to score a point for the coyotes.

With Damar Hamlin, the safety of the Buffalo Bills, suffering a tremendous injury recently,  students are wondering how dangerous sports really are.

“It’s very draining to put a lot of effort into sports you’re exhorting a lot of effort when you play a sport physically and mentally so it’s really draining but if you learn how to contain your health and stuff like that it becomes easier,” Basketball player and Sophomore Mia Villanueva said.

While playing these sports affects your physical health, it can also take a toll on your mental health and wellbeing.

“I feel like expectations and experiences take a toll on your mental health plus if your coach expects you to live up to something and you don’t meet those expectations you feel like you failed in a way and that’s obviously going to affect your mental health,” Senior basketball player Isaiah Smith said

Even knowing that sports can come with tremendous dangers, people still choose to play the game because they have such a passion for it

“I continue to play because well, number one it’s just fun in general, I have a passion for it, and I was blessed to have a talent where I’m able to share it with others and play something I’ve been passionate about since I was little,” Basketball player and Junior Karina Cruz said.

With everything that has happened to Damar Hamlin recently there have been a lot of thoughts and feelings going around, especially with sports players themselves like Emilio Andres who is on the football team.

“It’s a really unfortunate accident and it’s definitely not something you see or hear about every day, and I think that all will be okay in the end, but it was definitely scary to hear about for the first time,” Sophomore Emilio Andres said.

Sports fans may sometimes forget that sports players are humans too and can get hurt just as easily as a normal human being can

“Well, there’s this perception that if you’re an athlete you’re tough, strong or buff and can handle anything but in reality, were just as normal as anybody else we could just as easily get a rolled ankle as someone who doesn’t play sports. It’s just the perception people have about athletes,” Villanueva said.

Some people, especially coaches like football coach and engineering teacher Dr. Jesse Grey, have a clear view of sports and their risks so the incident Hamlin has gone through did not affect the way they view sports and their risks.

“No absolutely not, my view on sports is that that’s the risk that you take when you play a sport. If you play basketball, you’re going to turn a knee or roll an ankle. If you play football, you’re going to get head injuries, you’re going to get body injuries. It’s a consequence of the sport,” Dr. Grey said.

While other people like Villanueva, a player on the girls’ basketball team, have been shaken by the incident that Hamlin faced.

“It has tainted my view on sports because it’s very scary getting hurt and just coming off rolling ankles and it’s just like how do you progress from getting hurt. You’d have to start all over again from zero and back to where you were before so it’s hard for recovery and it’s just scary plus what he went through was so much worse so that’s even scarier,” Villanueva said

Hamlin’s incident can also change the view on how parents feel about their children playing sports.

“Absolutely not. There’s risks with every sport you play and that’s kind of the competitiveness of the sport is understanding how to be better and by being better I mean you train well. If you train well, I’m not saying you’re going to be immune to injury, but you prevent the possibility of injury if you train yourself well and always go out and know what you’re doing,” Grey said.

Taking precaution is a big thing within sports making it easier to stay injury free.

So, make sure you get your stretches in, stay hydrated and mentally focused on whatever sport you’re playing and keep yourself disciplined, and if you do that, there’s no harm in playing sports. So, no I have no problem with letting my kids play sports,” Grey said.

High school sports, while not at the same level as professional sports, can still be dangerous and incidents like Hamlin’s help bring awareness to high school students about these types of situations and while professional sports players realize the risk that comes with the game, it is not everyday they experience something like Hamlin’s incident.

“I mean I think that everything that has happened with Damar Hamlin has just shown people that sports can be dangerous and us sports players are normal people and we as people can learn a lot from everything that’s happened in this situation,” Cruz said