Damar Hamlin shut down a bizarre internet conspiracy that surfaced after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a game against Cincinnati Bengals earlier this month.
He was spotted in public for the first time since the incident last Sunday as he cheered for the Bills during the playoff game against Bengals. The player took the opportunity to poke fun at the rumour that he died on the field on 2 January by sharing a picture of himself standing in front of his own mural. His Instagram post was captioned “clone”, with a ninja emoji.
The player also thanked fans and supporters from across the world for “all the GENUINE love, thoughts [and] prayers”, as he promised that they will “hear” from him soon.
The 24-year-old was administered automated external defibrillation and CPR after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a tackle, before being rushed to a local hospital in critical condition.
However, soon after the incident, a bizarre conspiracy theory started to emerge that Hamlin died on the field after the cardiac incident. According to the theorists, the FBI and NFL quickly dispatched his body to Cincinnati Medical Centre to hide his death, reported Vox Media-owned SB Nation.
Hamlin, who received an emotional reception from fans during his first public appearance since being discharged from hospital 11 days ago, gestured a heart to his fans amid loud cheers.
“Welcome home, [Damar Hamlin]” tweeted Buffalo Bills, sharing the video of him entering the stadium in a team cart. He was then escorted to a private suite.
“We’re so glad you’re here,” said the team’s official Twitter handle, sharing another footage of him cheering the team.
According to head coach Sean McDermott, Hamlin has been visiting the team facility “almost daily” since being relieved from the hospital.
His presence was unable to inspire the Bills to the AFC Championship game, with quarterback Joe Burrow inspiring the Bengals to a 27-10 victory.