The internet can be a dark and scary place. Look around enough, it’s not hard to find tin foil hat territory regarding any number of topics.
Such was the case on Sunday when Damar Hamlin flashed his signature heart gesture in the owner’s box during the Bengals vs. Bills game.
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) January 22, 2023
Hamlin’s return to Highmark Stadium brought a swell of emotion. But it also brought a host of scatterbrain conspiracy theories, with some outlets going as far as claiming that the 24-year old safety — decked out in a ski mask — was not actually at the game. Instead, they posited that Hamlin was replaced by a body double and that the Bills safety had actually passed away from taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
Crazy. Unbelievable. And categorically false.
MORE: Damar Hamlin addresses ludicrous ‘clone’ conspiracy theory
That rumor has been debunked in multiple ways, with Hamlin himself going as far as to caption a picture he took in front of a mural painted of him with the text reading, “clone.” Still, if anyone needed anymore confirmation, look no further than Bills star Josh Allen.
Buffalo’s quarterback appeared on Kyle Brandt’s Basement Podcast and dished on everything, from the Bills end of the season to “Super Troopers.” Partway through the pod, Brandt asked Allen about the recent Hamlin rumor sweeping the recesses of the internet. Allen responded as any clear-minded individual would.
“That’s stupid,” Allen said, bluntly.
.@JoshAllenQB reacts to the “Damar Hamlin body double” conspiracy theory.
— Kyle Brandt’s Basement (@KBBasement) January 24, 2023
Well said, Josh. The two-time Pro Bowler gave added a little more context to Hamlin’s return, detailing that he made appearances in the locker room both before and after the game. He also confirmed that the person who the team hosted in the locker room was indeed Hamlin and not some similar-looking phony.
“That’s the Damar Hamlin, that’s our guy, that’s our brother,” Allen said. “He was with us pregame, postgame, he was up in the suite with his family, with his little brother, 100 percent. … People need to stop that s—.”
Hamlin has also taken to social media to let the world know they’ll see him soon.
Thankful for all the GENUINE love, thoughts & prayers from all across the world.. y’all will hear from me soon! 3️⃣🏾
— 𝐃𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐫 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐥𝐢𝐧 (@HamlinIsland) January 24, 2023
So there you have it. Hamlin was at the game, just as everyone said he would be.
Put it to rest.