BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The dome of Buffalo’s City Hall and both sides of Niagara Falls will be illuminated Tuesday night in a show of support for Bills safety Damar Hamlin.
The 24-year-old Hamlin remained in critical condition a day after the Bills said his heart stopped while making a tackle in the opening quarter of a game against the Bengals. Medical staff restored his heartbeat during frantic moments on the field before he was loaded into an ambulance, with teary-eyed players and coaches on both teams having difficulty hiding their emotions.
City Hall will be lit blue and red, Mayor Byron Brown said, “Bills colors to signify our collective prayers for Damar Hamlin, his family, the Bills organization and his complete recovery.” Brown also asked members of the Buffalo Landmark Illumination Team to do the same.
The American Falls and Canadian Horseshoe Falls will go blue from 9 to 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, the Niagara Falls Illumination Board announced.
A prayer vigil was held Tuesday outside the Bills Store in Orchard Park.
The NFL and each of its 32 franchises changed their Twitter profile images to read “PRAY FOR DAMAR” with his jersey No. 3 on a blue background.
Hamlin was hurt while tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins on a seemingly routine play that didn’t appear unusually violent. Hamlin was administered CPR on the field and was joined in the ambulance by his family before leaving for the hospital.
The chilling scene, which played out in front of a national television audience on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” has put the NFL on hold, with the game suspended. It sparked an outpouring of support for placing Hamlin’s life ahead of sports and pushed to the forefront the generous person the player is.
“Got a lot of respect and love for him as a human being, his commitment to the pursuit of his goals and dreams of doing what it is he’s doing right now, which is playing in the NFL,” said Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who has known Hamlin since he was 12. “To watch him make personal decisions and make that a realization, it’s just an honor to get to know young people like that. Had an opportunity to express that to him whenever I’ve seen him.”
The Bills, Patriots and numerous other NFL teams canceled their media availabilities on Tuesday, including the New England Patriots.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.