[A version of this post was published on-line January 5, 2023 by the Buffalo News under the headline “Bengals’ support for Hamlin shows idiocy of rivalry-hatred“.]
I cringe whenever I hear a sports talk show host or Bills’ fan say they hate an opposing team, its players, or its fans – whether the animosity is directed at the Patriots, the Dolphins, Tom Brady or any other formidable opponent. It is, after all, only a game.
We should be capable of zealously rooting for our team to win, while also acknowledging the talent, and recognizing the humanity, of our on-field adversaries.
The Cincinnati Bengals players, team, fans and organization showed us why hatred is not the appropriate sentiment. As soon as they realized the seriousness of the injury to Bills safety Damar Hamlin – and recognized the frailty of life, even for a young, world-class athlete – their only concern was for Hamlin’s health and well-being.
Let’s hope this tragic incident helps us all to remember the humanity of each and every human being, whether or not he or she is wearing the jersey of an opposing team.
With All Due Respect,