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football health risks damar hamlin

Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin is removed from Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio in an ambulance. The Buffalo Bills, in white, kneel at the bottom left of the image. | Photo credit: Schetm

January 4, 2023

Examining Football's Health Risks

Ask Students: Why can collisions sometimes cause cardiac arrest? How might the NFL change rules or policies after this event?


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Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition following his collapse in the Monday Night Football game. His family thanked the medical team that responded and expressed gratitude for the national outpouring of support. Hamlin’s cardiac arrest prompted another round of difficult questions for the NFL. Jerry Brewer of The Washington Post joined William Brangham to discuss. For a transcript of this story, click here.

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Discussion Questions

  • Who are the two people interviewed in this story, and what are their backgrounds?
  • What is known about Demar Hamlin’s medical emergency following a tackle, according to this story?
  • Where and When did Hamlin suffer cardiac arrest?
  • Why can collisions sometimes (but rarely) cause cardiac arrest?
  • How might the NFL change rules or policies after this event?

Focus Questions

What do you think is the best way to make football (or other popular sports) safer?

Media Literacy: Why do you think the producers chose to interview both a doctor and a sports journalist for this story? Who else could they have interviewed?

Additional Exercise

What students can do: There is some evidence that injuries from youth sports are on the rise. But why? Read this article to find out, and discuss: How can youth sports be made safer and healthier for everyone

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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